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U.S. & MEXICO – A Next-Door Love Affair

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Since Donald J. Trump sworn in as the new US President in 2017, the US-Mexico relationship has experienced a new low. Building a wall on US border with Mexico has remained one of the most protruding slogans of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. After Trump sworn in, not only he maintained his stance of curtailing US-Mexican borders but also proclaimed to make Mexico pay for the proposed wall. In addition to that, the new Twitter diplomacy of Trump administration have deeply wounded the relationship these two Americas once shared. The relationship was further poisoned when Mexican president cancelled his two-day trip in response to Trump’s tweet about him being unwelcomed if he don’t intend to pay for the wall. Trump’s views on US-Mexico relations are devoid of the liberal values that have kept Western democracies together for decades. Since 1980, it has been more like a custom for every newly elected US President to meet his Mexican counterpart. Ronald Reagan, in 1980, met with the Mexican president before formally swearing in for the Oval Office while the Mexican President, in return, visited America later that year. Same tradition was followed by George Bush Sr. in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1990s and later by Barrack H. Obama. George Bush Jr. made Mexico his first foreign destination as POTUS. U.S. & MEXICO – A Next-door Love Affair.

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Arthuro Sarukhan – Mexico’s ambassador to US (2007-2013) – believes that bilateral ties between US and Mexico had improved over the years in the recent past due to increased socioeconomic interaction after the signing of North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and more assertive security and intelligence cooperation post 9/11.  However, a stark asymmetry of power will always persist between both countries. The past two decades of constructive and maturing relations have undoubtedly been punctuated by occasional moments of disagreement and mistakes committed by both capitals. Nonetheless, a dramatic shift occurred, both in substance and in tone.

U.S. & MEXICO – A Next-door Love Affair

Octavio Paz, one of Mexico’s Nobel laureates, once wrote that Mexican and Americans had a hard time understanding one another because Americans didn’t know how to listen and Mexicans didn’t know how to speak up. Dangerously and sadly the relationship is today on a knife’s edge. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, “alternative facts” regarding trade with Mexico or the dynamics along our common border along with a toxic anti-Mexican narrative have seriously damaged perceptions on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

In my opinion, regardless of the up and down phases of the US-Mexico relationship over the years, neither Mexico be dubbed as an enemy of the US nor to be taken for granted by US national security experts. Problems of the US will not be simply diminished by severing ties with its neighbor in the South. Owing to the complexity of the relationship the two nations share, it will be impossible for both to coexist under a setup that Trump promotes in his connotations. At the same time, neither of the two nations would benefit if Mexico to ratchet back on its engagements on counter-narcotics, transmigrations, common energy security and other fronts.

The two countries have joint production platforms and joint supply chain, which means, that an economic boom in Mexico is more likely to benefit US consumers as well as productivity.

An industrialized and developed Mexico can be anything but a threat to the US economy. The two countries have joint production platforms and joint supply chain, which means, that an economic boom in Mexico is more likely to benefit US consumers as well as productivity. Moreover, economic well-being will bring stability and peace in the country. Such rise will ensure border safety for the US as well as shrink the magnitude of unhealthy transmigration over the borders. On the other side, however, notions of mistrust and abhorrence in shape of determination to build a wall on the border will not make America great again but rather make the two countries lose detriment of US geo-strategic interests.

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