publicidad
U.S.-Mexico border crossing

Both sides lose in falling out between Mexico and United States

Both sides lose in falling out between Mexico and United States

The potential rift threatens to undo decades of cooperation between the two neighbors who have worked hard to overcome a long history of mistrust.

U.S.-Mexico border crossing
U.S.-Mexico border crossing

The diplomatic rift between Mexico and the United States over who will pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall threatens to end one of the most stable and important relationships Washington has enjoyed in Latin America.

Thursday’s abrupt cancellation of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s planned visit to the United States threatens greater uncertainty about the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has served as a steady economic lynchpin between the two neighbors since 1994.

The potential rift threatens to undo decades of cooperation between countries that have worked hard to overcome a long history of mistrust. “There has been a steady deepening of the working relationship over the last 25 years, with occasional flare ups,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank.

“There was an understanding that there’s too much at stake not to have that level of cooperation. Now that understanding seems to be questioned on this side of the border,” he added.

Lea este articulo en español

During the election campaign Trump vociferously pledged to renegotiate NAFTA, arguing that in its current form it was too one-sided in Mexico’s favor, citing a $60 billion dollar trade deficit.

U.S. and Mexican officials began talks over the future of NAFTA on Wednesday, and Peña Nieto and Trump were due to meet next week in what appeared to be a sign of willingness to settle things amicably.

But that all began to unravel Wednesday afternoon when Trump announced the expansion of the existing border wall as part of his policy to reduce illegal immigration. In media comments he blamed Mexican immigrants for taking jobs away from Americans, as well as creating insecurity on the streets of U.S. cities.

publicidad

He repeated his insistence that Mexico would pay for the wall, though he did not specify how.

Peña Nieto responded late Wednesday repeating his own position that there was no way that Mexico would pay for the wall.

On Thursday morning Trump fired off a tweet making it sound like he had disinvited the Mexican president. “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting,” he wrote.

Soon after Peña Nieto announced he was canceling his visit.

Border history

Mexican-American relations have been fraught since the birth of the two countries. Mexico lost more than half its territory to the United States as a result of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, and the U.S. notoriously meddled in Mexico’s affairs over the subsequent decades. But relations had improved impressively after the signing of NAFTA.

Now, Trump appears hell bent on redefining U.S. global interests, no matter the damage it might cause its southern neighbor, wrote Mexican historian Lorenzo Meyer in the Mexican newspaper Reforma on Thursday.

The "veil of interdependence" in U.S.-Mexican relations is being ripped off, and all that is left is for Mexico to "minimize the damage," he wrote, and maybe "reduce its enormous dependency on its northern neighbor and recover some of its independence ... and dignity."

In a worst case scenario, if U.S-Mexico relations went off the rails, the consequences could be alarming for the Trump administration. “Border security would collapse. We could also be looking at economic recession in Mexico and more Mexicans and Central Americans swarming over the border,” said Shifter.

Mexico's vastly improved police and judicial cooperation as well as intelligence sharing in the drug war, "needs to be better communicated to our president," added Maureen Meyer, a Mexico analyst with the Washington Office on Latin America. "The last thing the United States wants to do is create economic crisis in its southern neighbor," she added.

Nationalism


The evolution of the U.S.-Mexico border Univision

Trump has put Peña Nieto in a tough spot, experts say. On the one hand he is under pressure to stand up for Mexican national pride, while at the same time being mindful of the economic risks of a falling out with Washington.

“Political ground has shifted in Mexico. It’s no longer politically popular to stand up and say 'gee we should have this close relationship with the U.S.,'" said Eric Olsen, a Latin America expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center, in Washington.

After decades of relatively good relations between the two neighbors, Trump has ignited old enmities. Mexicans mostly loathe his hateful campaign rhetoric, tarring Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, as well as his bad-mouthing of NAFTA.

“So [Peña Nieto] is being pulled in that direction. To show toughness, to show self-respect, to defend Mexico’s national honor,” added Olsen.

publicidad

Despite being deeply unpopular at home, Peña Nieto's many critics rallied to his defense on Thursday.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said on Twitter "don't mess with Mexico.” In a video message, he told Trump: “Mexico is a friend ... we understand your people, but we don't understand you."

And Trump's critics were quick to react as well. "Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona, tequila, or margaritas is a big-time bad idea. Mucho Sad," tweeted South Carolina's Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

Economic ties

Nationalism aside, "there's a practical element here," stressed Olsen. In Mexico, "people’s livelihoods depend on the relationship with the United States [and] Mexico depends on the U.S. for its security.”

The United States is Mexico’s largest export market (77.6 percent) and the United States supplies 50 percent of Mexican imports, according to official data.

If they were a country, the 10 states straddling both sides of the border would be the fourth largest economy in the world.

Trade between Mexico and the United States has been growing annually at an average of more than 11 percent.

“Peña Nieto and his advisors understand the importance of U.S.-Mexican relations and know that Trump’s proposals could play havoc with Mexico’s already distressed economy and troubled politics,” according to Peter Hakim, a senior fellow and past president of the Inter-American Dialogue.

publicidad

“They also know that a confrontation with Trump, no matter its appeal to many Mexicans, would be worse,” he wrote in an analysis of U.S.-Mexico relations last month for the Latin America Advisor.

There are also good, if not well understood, economic reasons for the U.S. to avoid a falling out.

Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner (accounting for 13 percent of exports and imports), directly accounting for almost 1.2 million jobs in the United States, second only to Canada, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Mexico has also become an ally in recent years in controlling a surge of migration from the gang-ridden countries of Central America, especially Honduras and El Salvador.

To avoid conflict, the Mexican government will probably have to take some unpopular steps to respond to Trump's demands, though perhaps gaining some concessions in return, Hakim added, suggesting joint efforts to curb migration and even some cost sharing for construction of physical barriers at a few border sites.

“They’re going to have to find some middle ground,” said Olsen. "But I doubt it will be ‘okay … we’ll pay for the wall’. I don’t see that happening,” he added, suggesting it was more likely that Trump would seek to recover the costs via indirect taxes. The White House said it could pay for the wall with a new 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico.

“I don’t see any way from a political point of view that Peña Nieto could agree to pay for the wall. It would be political suicide,” he added.

Relacionado
A man rests in a migrant shelter in Chiapas, Mexico, in December 2016.
As Trump takes office, uncertainty along Mexico's southern border
Mexico has increased detentions and deportations of Central American migrants, creating a first line of defense for the United States. But experts say migration won't stop without a comprehensive solution to the crisis in the Northern Triangle.
publicidad
publicidad
The Colombian soldier Mauricio Calvo shares his experience as part of a burgeoning industry of men who travel the world to fight in other people's wars.
Immigrants advocacy groups report 300 shootings aboard the train known as the The Beast. Migrant victims point to security guards hired by the government.
Pedro is one of thousands of undocumented immigrants who work in chicken processing plants in Gainesville, Georgia. In a county where police work in tandem with immigration authorities and more than 72% of citizens voted for Donald Trump, many immigrants live in fear.
They grew up in Chicago and their husbands, the Flores twins (aka ‘Los Mellizos’), worked for the Sinaloa cartel. The twins later became DEA informants in Mexico who helped bring down El Chapo Guzman. They have written a book, Cartel Wives, telling their story as a lesson to others not to fall for the narco life, and they regret what they put their families through. "Our fathers put on their suit of armor and their badge, and they are going out there on the streets of Chicago,” Mia confesses. “It’s the very same streets that our husbands were flooding with drugs.”
The Rio Abajo bridge was swept away leaving the town of Utuado cut off. Neighbors engineered a pulley system to haul supplies over the river but they wonder when their lives will return to any semblance of normality.
A scene form the new documentary A Long Way From Home about the desegregation of professional baseball.
Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz reacted to comments on Twitter by President Trump in which he said Puerto Ricans “want everything done for them."
It is estimated that there are almost as many Puerto Ricans living off the island as the 3.4 million that reside there. After Hurricane Maria, almost all communication was lost between those on the island and in the diaspora. Univision sent a reporting team to the island before Maria's arrival. Part of their job now is helping connect families.
Two reporters from Univision News followed the track of Hurricane Maria, starting from the southeast where the eye made landfall all the way to the capital. This is what they saw from the road ...
An "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane, Maria made landfall near Yabucoa in southeast Puerto Rico, causing widespread flooding across the U.S. territory of 3.4 million inhabitants. Maria caused rivers to flood all over the island. This video was taken in Guayama, on the south coast.
After a strong earthquake shook Mexico City, thousands of people evacuated their homes. The epicenter was 7.5 miles southeast of Axochiapan, in the state of Morelos.
Had Irma tracked 50 miles further north along Cuba's coast, the results could have been dramatically different, meteorologists say, causing devastation to the densely populated Greater Miami region. Also by tracking up Florida's west coast close to the shoreline deprived Irma of the warm Gulf water that fuels storms. Here is a compilation of the hurricane satellite images shared by NASA on social media.
Presidents don't usually pardon criminals until they have been sentenced or have at least expressed some regret, but this was not the case with Arpaio, who spoke to Univision News two weeks after being forgiven by his ally, Donald Trump.
During a meeting in the Oval office Friday, the president was asked by reporters about the future of DACA, to which he responded that a decision was coming soon. "We love the dreamers, we love everyone," he added.
The program was established in 2012 by President Barack Obama to protect certain undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Nilsa Huete is an undocumented Honduran immigrant living in Key West, Florida. In the last five months, five of her family members have been arrested by agents from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Now she’s fighting against the deportation of her daughter and brother.
Lo más visto: Anahí no invitó a Maite Perroni al bautizo de su hijo, el presidente de México mete la pata y aparece el arbolito de navidad que se habían llevado de la tumba de Jenni Rivera
Además, Jennifer López y Alex Rodriguez adornan su arbolito de navidad, Julián le puso una nueva demanda a Marjorie de Sousa y mucho más en tu resumen especial de la semana con lo más comentado en El Gordo y la Flaca.
La Fundación Cultural Latin GRAMMY crea la beca Carlos Vives para jóvenes músicos hispanos
El cantante colombiano orgullosamente presentó, a nombre de la Academia Latina de Artes y Ciencias de la Grabación, la beca Carlos Vives, la cual apoyará económicamente a jóvenes talentos hispanos que quieran estudiar música.
Descubrimos que José José sí está hospitalizado y su estado de salud es incierto
Después de que Marisol Sosa, hija mayor de José José, declarara que su padre se encontraba en buen estado de salud, nuestro reportero descubrió que el cantante sí está hospitalizado.
DAEnUnMinuto: Francisca se emocionó al hacer este anuncio, ¿y quién tiene el suéter más feo de todos?
¡Celebramos en grande el 'Ugly Sweater Day' con un mega desfile de suéter feos! Además, ¿acaso Karla y Ana Patricia están nominadas a un Golden Globe? Síguenos en #DAEnUnMinuto.
publicidad
El escándalo de Odebrecht pone al presidente Kuczynski al borde de su destitución
La oposición peruana pidió al Congreso la remoción del presidente luego de que la constructora Odebrecht reconociera haberle realizado pagos millonarios a través de dos compañías con las que está relacionado.
El grupo extremista palestino Hamas muestra sus armas contra Donald Trump (fotos)
Decenas de miles de palestinos, incluidos cientos de hombres armados, conmemoraron el 30 aniversario de la fundación de Hamas en Gaza. La tensión entre Israel y Palestina se ha disparado desde que el presidente Trump ordenó mudar de Tel Aviv a Jerusalén la embajada de EEUU en Israel.
La mala idea de hipotecar tu casa para comprar bitcoins
Según el regulador Joseph Borg, esta burbuja también va a estallar.
En Un Minuto Houston: Buscan a sospechoso de violar a una joven a quien sometió con un arma
Otras noticias #EnUnMinutoHouston: Conductor de una grúa impidió que sujetos robaran un negocio de motocicletas.
"Voy a seguir aprendiendo, pero con victorias", habla la joya uruguaya que contrató el LAFC
LAFC espera que Diego Rossi sea importante en el ataque junto a Carlos Vela. Hablamos en exclusiva con la figura del fútbol uruguayo.
Por: John Rojas
Chivas hizo oficial su alianza con el patrocinador que dará nombre al estadio
José Luis Higuera, CEO de Grupo Omnilife y Santiago Martínez de la Torre, Presidente del Consejo de Administración de Akron, firmaron el acuerdo que dará nueva imagen al coloso tapatío.
América comenzó la etapa previa a su nueva pretemporada de cara al Clausura 2018
Los principales jugadores de las Águilas terminaron sus vacaciones y se hicieron presente en las instalaciones del equipo para presentar las pruebas médicas. El lunes viajarán a Querétaro para iniciar tareas.
¡Duró poco! Partido ultraderechista niega que Ronaldinho sea candidato para el Senado brasileño
Patriota, aclara que no tienen ningún acuerdo con el jugador, pero le deja la puerta abierta.