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back to index backLATINtalk January,  2017


What Could a U.S.-Mexico Partnership Look Like?

New Approaches Could Advance Cooperation With Mexico.

When the Trump administration takes office, one of the clearest articulations of its foreign policy is likely to be its position toward a range of issues at the center of U.S-Mexico relations. Three of the centerpieces of the Trump campaign involved issues closely tied to the bilateral relationship: the need to improve border security, reform the immigration system, and address job creation and trade in a globalized world.

If handled properly, new approaches could advance cooperation with Mexico, not threaten it, as is assumed by many Mexico watchers. Handled badly, though, the downside risks are serious for U.S. interests. A major bilateral rift could ripple into Mexican internal politics in unpredictable ways, for both Mexico and the United States, as well as threaten U.S. economic security and competiveness in global markets.

Understanding Mexico’s current challenges

As the Trump administration begins to identify its first priorities, Mexico will be entering into a presidential election cycle for its summer 2018 contest, which will add complexity to government-to-government talks. Only about 25 percent of Mexicans approve of the job being done by President Enrique Peña Nieto, an unprecedented low for a government with two years left in office. The public is highly dissatisfied with government, fueled in part by the economic downturn, high-profile cases of corruption and impunity, and persistent insecurity.

Mexico’s economic growth has been in steady decline in recent years. The United States is Mexico’s largest export market, and demand in the U.S. market has slowed since the 2008 financial crisis. Low oil prices also have had a negative effect on the Mexican economy given its role as an energy supplier and on the federal budget as close to a third of the public monies derive from oil revenues. Corruption continues to erode public confidence in the Mexican political system, as it has in other countries throughout Latin America in recent years. It has also roused a private sector that feels squeezed between increased taxation pressure and the costs of corruption. Cartel-fueled violence and petty street crime continues throughout the country, as promises by the Peña Nieto government to reduce violence levels have not yet been fulfilled.

Mexico’s overall trajectory of reform

It is important to recognize that the current challenges facing Mexico do not occur in a vacuum and Mexico´s overall trajectory is one of dramatic reform of the state. It would be hard to find a nation-state elsewhere in the world that has undergone a political and economic modernization as fast and deep as Mexico, particularly over the past two decades.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: Global Trade Magazine
- GAI





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