By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (2.5 minute read)
NAFTA, the Trumpian border wall and gun trade all came to a head for Donald Trump and his plans for relations with Mexico.
We got a hint of it in the Senate confirmation hearings.
Apart from the mentions of Trump’s border wall there has been little, if at all, mention of U.S. policy toward Latin America in the Senate nomination hearings. It’s mostly been about Russia and the DNC hacking.
But because the wall has been mentioned and because of the President-elect’s steadfast insistence on building it and having Mexico pay for it, the Mexican government replied.
They say they’re not going to pay for the wall
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto was meeting with his ambassadors and consuls when he sent Trump a warning: according to a Los Angeles Times report, Peña Nieto said Mexico “will push back if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attacks Mexico on trade or other fronts — using its cooperation on crucial issues such as immigration and security as leverage.”[pullquote]Mexico is detaining more Central and South American migrants than the U.S. does on the northern side. They could easily stop that.[/pullquote]
It’s about immigration
Mexico has increased its patrolling on the southern side of the U.S. border and is detaining more Central and South American migrants than the U.S. does on the northern side. Mexico could easily stop that and let the migrants continue their trek to the U.S. causing a surge in crossings, burdening the federal coffers, causing humanitarian concerns in the already overcrowded immigration detention facilities.
It’s about drugs and guns
Mexico, as a bargaining point, could insist that the U.S. aggressively pursue the clandestine gun trade that provides firearms and ammunition to the drug cartels. Most of the guns used in the violent drug trade come from the U.S. Trump would have to choose between containing undocumented immigration or angering the NRA by clamping down on gun sales.
It’s about NAFTA
Trump insists he’ll renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, there’s nothing to stop him. But if he does and the new terms cost Mexico jobs, he should know that the now net-zero migration of Mexicans to the U.S. will climb once again. The Mexico-U.S. migratory pattern is about jobs. The workers will go where the jobs are.
For Mexico it’s about dignity
The Mexican president said key principles of the U.S. relationship are not on the table: “. . .principles like our sovereignty, our national interest and the protection of our nationals are not negotiable. At no time will we accept anything against our dignity as a country or our dignity as Mexicans.”
Try putting that in a Tweet.
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[Photo by Eneas De Troya/Flickr]