Mexico has yet to be completely commercialized and developed, and the core of their developmental strategy thus far has been free trade, but President Trump has said that he wants to renegotiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This is causing a growing number of Mexican officials and business people to ask what price is worth paying to stay in it, as many believe that Mexico would have more to lose from years of economic uncertainty as compared to simply leaving NAFTA. Many, including Mexico’s economy minister, “There could be no other option. If we go for something that is less than what we have, well, then there is no sense in staying.”
If Mexico leaves NAFTA, it would not just hurt Mexico, but also America. The United States buys almost 80% of Mexico’s exports, and Mexico is the second largest market in the world for American goods. Without NAFTA, trade between Mexico and the United States would be governed by the World Trade Organization, so tariffs for imports of Mexican goods into the United States would rise to an average of 3%.
The United States and Mexico are also connected to other ways than in trade. They are bound together by migration, border security, and drug trafficking. The United States depends on Mexico to fight drug cartels and stop migrants from reaching the United States, but, rather than continue on with this united front against illegal migration, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order to build a wall on the border.
The executive order for the wall is expected to be signed during an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security when Mexico’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, will arrive in Washington, D.C. to prepare for the visit of President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico.
An executive order to build a wall would be among an array of national security directives that Trump is considering, including re-opening the once-secret “black-site” detention programs, such as the prison at Guantanamo Bay, as well as designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. While Trump wishes to open these detention programs, Former President Barrack Obama had ordered the closings of all of them in his first week of presidency in 2009.
President Trump is also supposedly considering limiting immigration to 50,000; in contrast, Obama previously increased the overall number of refugees to be settled in the United States to 85,000, with 10,000 of the slots reserved for Syrians. He also set the number of refugees to be settled this year at 110,000, which is more than double what Trump is considering. This consideration is found shameful by Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who said that “To think that Trump’s first 100 days are going to be marked by this very shameful shutting of our doors to everybody who is seeking refuge in this country is very concerning. Everything points to this being simply a backdoor Muslim ban.”
Davis, Julie, David Sanger, and Maggie Haberman. “Trump to Order Mexican Border Wall and Curtail Immigration.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 24 Jan. 2017. Web. <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/us/politics/wall-border-trump.html?_r=0>.
Malkin, Elisabeth. “Facing Trump, Mexicans Think the Unthinkable: Leaving Nafta.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 24 Jan. 2017. Web. <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/world/americas/trump-mexico-nafta.html?hpw&rref=world&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well>.