Existing border wall is about to get longer. Existing border wall is about to get longer. Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

Getting tough is good politics for Peña Nieto

Refusing to pay for Trump's border wall could be a unifying rallying cry for Mexico

It did not take long for a diplomatic rift to open between the United States and Mexico following the election of Donald Trump.


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has cancelled a planned visit to the White House after Trump signed an executive order calling for construction to begin on the much-vaunted border wall between the two countries.

Trump campaigned heavily on the idea of building a wall, insisting Mexico pay for it, while also pushing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), that has bound the economies of both countries (and Canada) for more than 20 years.

Peña Nieto has consistently said that Mexico will not pay for the wall, while also signaling that he is open to rethinking trade relations with the U.S.

Dealing with the wall and NAFTA issues at the same time would be challenging for both the Mexican and the American governments regardless, but the task is further complicated by the fact that neither president is popular with his people.

Trump has started his tenure with very low approval numbers, and while his inauguration speech was received positively by a number of Americans (especially his prescription to “buy American and hire American”), his first day in office saw millions of women and men march in protest across the world.

Facing a tepid honeymoon period, Trump must bolster support by quickly catering to his electorate and fulfilling key campaign promises.


“Now we have to deliver,” he said to a gathering of congressional Republicans last Thursday.

Traditionally, Republican voters are interested in government creating jobs and fixing problems with immigration. Unlike their historically pro-free trade elected officials, Republican voter attitudes towards NAFTA have been historically negative. And while GOP support for the wall has never been great, it has now become an important issue for Republican voters.

But delivering on the campaign promises that galvanized Trump’s base means substantially, and negatively, affecting America’s relationship with Mexico and with Mexicans living in the U.S.

That hasn’t stopped President Trump. Following the twin narratives that NAFTA has caused severe loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs (but perhaps not as many as claimed), and that illegal immigrants have either voted illegally (against him, or so he has said) or committed severe felonies that threaten the security of American citizens (which they do, but no more often than U.S. citizens), the U.S. president has aimed his policies at Mexico.

Perhaps Mexico is simply the easiest target to pick on – a trade war with China would prove too costly, and a war in the Middle East too difficult to pull off just now.

The situation on the other side of the border isn’t as different as one might think.

In an interesting symmetry, 48% of Mexicans have said that they would support renegotiating NAFTA, which they believe has been better at increasing the variety of imported U.S. goods than at improving economic growth or creating jobs.

But any common ground that could make difficult negotiations easier is overshadowed by a tough political backdrop. During the contentious U.S. presidential campaign, Peña Nieto invited Donald Trump to visit Mexico City, a decision Mexicans did not think much of given Trump’s open hostility toward their country.

The unpopularity of the trip caused the government minister who orchestrated it to resign – though he later came back on board after Trump’s victory to manage the relationship with the U.S. administration.

Under such circumstances, it is no surprise that Mexicans are feeling pessimistic, with three in four asserting that the government is “unprepared” to handle their hostile northern neighbour.

Still, to prevent upending Mexico’s economy, negotiations between the two countries cannot be postponed for long. Uncertainty about the future of U.S.-Mexico relations has made the peso jittery: on election day it plunged 12%, and its value has continued to rise and fall precipitously with each of Trump’s tweets and Peña Nieto’s moves.

The Mexican government and people have unanimously rejected paying for a border wall. So cancelling the meeting was perhaps the best option for Peña Nieto, given the president’s vulnerable position – currently 86% of Mexicans disapprove of his administration – and the risks of actually meeting with this heavy-handed White House.

Bailing on the state visit may have given Peña Nieto a bump in the polls (we’ll know next week), but it was bad news for the peso, which saw a another decline after an exceptionally bumpy day.

It also caused the White House spokesman to announce that a 20% tariff on Mexican exports would cover the expense of the wall.

The decision was quickly reversed after it was pointed out that a tariff would essentially mean that U.S. consumers, rather than Mexican taxpayers, were paying for the wall – not to mention that would probably be illegal and would definitely wreak economic havoc. Apparently, an import tax is now just one option among many others under consideration.

It is still too early to know how citizens on both sides of the border will receive all this news. Do Americans care enough about the wall to shift incentives and get it built? Do they care about it at all?

On the Mexican side, incentives are strong for the president to continue resisting Trump’s agenda. Nationally, a number of other politicans – from former president Vicente Fox to opposition leader Ricardo Anaya – urged Peña Nieto to cancel the Washington visit, and there was immediate international support for the decision once he did.

From across Latin America, calls for hemispheric unity in the face of an aggressive U.S. administration are growing louder; Bolivian president Evo Morales recently suggested that “our Mexican brothers should look more to the south.”

By insisting that the border wall is a deal-breaker for Mexico, the president may have stumbled onto a rallying cry that can unite the Mexican people and carry the country forward into the difficult next phase of its relationship with its mighty and unpredictable neighbor up north.The Conversation

Salvador Vázquez del Mercado is a lecturer on public opinion and research methodology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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  • K. Chris C.

    Spoiler alert: Romeo and Juliet both die at the end.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    • Juan Reynoso

      No one has to die, what we need to do is place the people first we can’t continue being exploit by this system of corporate and government collusion. “Neo_Liberalism” the root of Mexico and the US economic demise.


    Hey Mexico? As an American and just so you know, this man does not represent the vast majority of the people in the U.S. He has the lowest approval rating of any new President in the 70 year history of Gallup. It will get worse. He’s imbalanced. For real.

    Mexico is holding the cards here. Canceling the meeting was the first step. Smart. After one week he’s already backed down from quite a bit of his nonsense. Someone will explain to him that the U.S. stands to lose more than Mexico, and a united Latin America could be devastating, and he’ll move on to the next smokescreen.

    • Juan Reynoso

      This is the truth, El tratado de libre comercio “NAFTA” was the beginning of the end of Mexico’s economic independence. Carlos Salinas Digortari was the president that signed this ill policy that destroy the economic and welfare of the Mexican people and made the Mexican working class an economic slave, working today for less than $50.00 per week (6 days week). Mexico’s demise is paved by government and corporate corruption, the Mexican government betray the Mexican people. I know many Mexicans and they are better employees than many Americans, when I was managing store in Arizona they were my best employees in 1983 they was making $8.00 an hour today most they make $10.00 per hour thanks to the neo-liberalism. Neo-Liberalism and the “Tratado de Libre comercio” made economic slaves the American and the Mexican working class. Mexico and the US needs to clean up their government most are corrupt that represent the corporate elite the oligarchs in these countries Mexico needs to protect their people and their sovereign and stop this exploitation and demise of their eco-system. Mexico is rich in natural resources and they have good intelligent people to be great by placing the people of Mexico first, this exodus of good working people must stop, most Mexicans want to live in Mexico they love Mexico and also they love the American people do not let the US government nor the Mexican government destroy the friendship we the people have with the Mexican people. The people is great is the corrupt government in both countries that has to get their house in order and demise government and corporate corruption give the people the power and freedom to develop and make a new economic system base of a Democratic enterprise cooperatives run and control by the people free of government intervention to serve their employee and the consumers. Enrique Peña nieto needs to be out. The people of Mexico is the solution to this ill trade policy and the making of economic slavery.

      • Evita Spamm

        Blah blah blah. You write as if you were a typical mexican politician, no doubt. What exactly you try to say? You’re angry?

        • SilenceIsConsent

          Troll alert!

        • Juan Reynoso

          La gente de Mexico es la solucion, Educacion y la difucion de la verdad por los medios de comunicacion del pais hacen que los ciudadanos tengan el conocimiento para elejir a un gobierno que tenga la capacidad y vision para establecer programas que sean de beneficio para todos los Mexicanos. Estudien lo que es el Neo-Liberalismo, Capitalismo, Socialismo, Comunismo, populismo y los sistemas que se utilizan para explotar al Mexicano ” Privatization e inversion extranjera para la explotacion de recursos naturales o la infraestructura del pais”. Los derechos de todo Mexicano son los siguientes; derecho a la vida, salud, educacion, derecho a pensar, actuar. hablar promover sus ideas sin hacerle daño a nadie, respetando los derechos de los demas. Cuando comensamos a levantar falsos testimonios para desacreditar a otros, estamos violando la ley, cuando aceptamos soborno para beneficio propio y el desfalco de nuestro pais estamos violando la ley y destruyendo la confianza de el pueblo en su gobierno. Y cuando no hay confianza en el gobierno los politicos usan a la gente prometiendoles lo que ellos no pueden hacer y lo hacen solamente para cometer desfalcos y hacerce ricos a costillas del pueblo. Ojo mucho cuidado con los corruptos que estan defendiendo el Neo-Liberalism, a los Banqueros, a las grandes corporaciones y a la prensa corrupta; busca la verdad, invierte un poco de tu tiempo para informarte de la realidad y estado del pais y preguntate a si mismo que es lo que puedes hacer por Mexico, no lo que Mexico puede hacer por ti. Ultimadamente tu eres responsable por tu futuro y el futuro del pais el dialogo e intercambio de ideas es muy bueno para resolver diferencias. Connectate con gente honesta que quieren hacer del pais un pais prospero y con justicia social y cometete a hacer todo lo posible por respetar el derecho de los demas. El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz y prosperidad de todos; porque todos trabajamos por nuestros propios intereses; nuestra obligacion es ayudar a nuestros hermanos Mexicanos, promoviendo la educacion y principios morales para que ellos puedan ser lo mejor que puedan ser para contribuir y hacer de Mexico un pais Democratico con justicia social.
          Es evidente que nuestro Mexico es muy rico en recursos naturales y que la codicia de corporaciones internacionales estan sobornando a politicos corruptos que en el nombre del Mexicano estan comprometiendo a los Mexicanos a pagar billones de Dolares por proyectos en el Pais que benefician mas a los ricos del pais, haciendo del Mexicano esclavos economicos por que lo que ganan como sueldo no les alcanza para sostener una vidad con dignidad y oportunidad para sus crecimientos en educacion y socio economico estado.
          Ya basta, con la corrupcion y desfalco del pais. Las ratas del pais deben ser exterminadas para siempre, para que haci los futuros politicos pienzen dos veces antes de cometer desfalcos, aceptar sobornos y hacerce ricos a costillas del pueblo Mexicano.
          El mensaje del Mexicano hacia los politicos debe ser el siguiente.” Si robas te madaremos al otro mundo sin nada y seras un ejemplo para que haci otros politicos aprendan que el crimen no paga.
          Dios bendiga a todos los Mexicanos y los llene de sabiduria para hacer un Mexico Democratico con justicia social.

    • KR

      I don’t particularly believe that our President, Peña Nieto, is necessarily “holding all the cards here” amigo. America’s new President could (at minimum) easily issue an Executive Order legally halting ALL $ Remittances transfers from the U.S. to México if negotiations stall. And so doing while then putting an immediate stop to México’s largest national income steam. And while President Nieto is obviously in a very tough political ‘spot’ on our domestic PR Front, it might well serve him AND US Citizens to make the requisite vocal “public posturing” where necessary, though, while also avidly preparing to engage some equally “tough” trade renegotiations. This undeniable capability of America to halt to-México remittances is (excuse the pun) America’s REAL ‘Trump Card’….. and I believe that EVERYONE knows it, too!

  • Juan Reynoso

    By: Juan Reynoso, WTP – activist – wtp17.21@gmail.com

    http://anticorruptionact.org/. https://pressfortruth.ca/video-reports

    Free trade-Globalization and
    Neo-Liberalism are the policies for human exploitation, the Donald Trump policy can be the opportunity to secure the economic and welfare of the Mexican people.
    For some three decades’ neoliberalism, has dominated the economic policymaking in the US and the UK. The strong supporters and advocates of Neoliberalism are the multinational corporations in the U.S, Western Europe and Japan, but substantial popular resistance limited its influence and expansion in some of Latin American countries; but despite the resistance, the U.S. impose neoliberal policies on much of Latin America.

    The US with the support of the IMF and World Bank, through bribery, intimidation and overthrowing legitimate elected governments; has been successful in dictating neoliberal policies in Latin America and much of the world. Their main objective is privatization of government public service, natural resources and the exploitation of labor for the manufacturing of goods for the U.S and the E.U market.

    In Mexico, NAFTA “El tratado de Libre Comercio” is the root of worker’s exploitation, the privatization of public service, the mining, the oil reserves, the Highways and the demise of the eco-system of the Mexico. This ill policy only benefit the U.S, Transnational corporations, the corrupt Mexican government, the Mexican corporate elite and the U.S government.

    The Donald Trump election, can be the great opportunity for Mexico to regain control of their sovereignty and work on an economic system that will promote jobs for their people and secure the economic and welfare of the Mexican people.

    This is what NAFTA is all about and the impact of this ill policy that fail Mexico and the U.S.

    1. U.S. Jobs Were Lost
    Since labor is cheaper in Mexico, many manufacturing industries moved part of their production to Mexico. Between 1994 and 2016, the U.S. trade deficits in 2016 with Mexico totaled $ 58,798.6 million Dollars, displacing
    thousands of U.S. jobs. Nearly 80% of the losses were in manufacturing. The hardest-hit states were California,
    New York, Michigan and Texas. They had high concentrations of the industries that moved plants to Mexico. These industries included motor vehicles, textiles, computers, and electrical appliances.

    2. U.S. Wages Were Suppressed
    Many U.S. corporations used the threat of moving to Mexico during union organizing drives. When it became a choice between joining the union or losing the factory, workers chose the plant. Without union support, the workers had little
    bargaining power. That suppressed wage growth. Over 70 percent of all companies in the industries that were moving to Mexico used the threat of closing the factory to pay lower wages to American employees.
    3. Mexico’s Farmers Were Put Out of Business
    Thanks to NAFTA, Mexico lost 1.3 million farm jobs. The 2002 Farm Bill subsidized U.S. agribusiness by as much as 40% of net farm income. When NAFTA removed trade tariffs, U.S. farm corporations exported corn and other grains to Mexico below cost; Rural Mexican farmers could not compete and this put Mexican farmers out of business. At the same time, Mexico reduced its subsidies to farmers from 33.2 percent of total farm income in 1990 to 13.2% in 2001 and most of those subsidies went to Mexico’s large farms corporations. (Source: “Exposing the Myth of Free Trade,”
    International Forum on Globalization, February 25, 2003. “Tariffs and Tortillas,” The Economist, January 24, 2008.)
    4. Maquiladora Workers Were Exploited
    NAFTA expanded the maquiladora program by removing tariffs. That’s where U.S.-owned companies employed Mexican workers near the border. They cheaply assembled products for export back into the United States. The program grew to employ 30 percent of Mexico’s labor force. The workers had “no labor rights or health protections,” according to Continental Social Alliance. In addition, the “workdays stretch out 12 hours or more, and if you are a woman, you could be forced to take a pregnancy test when applying for a job,”. (Source: “Lessons of NAFTA,” Worldpress.org, April 20, 2001.)
    5. Mexico’s Environment Deteriorated
    In response to NAFTA competitive pressure, Mexico agribusiness used more fertilizers and other chemicals, costing $36 billion per year in pollution. Rural farmers expanded into marginal land, resulting in deforestation at a rate of 630,000 hectares per year. (Source: “NAFTA’s Promise and Reality,” Carnegie Endowment, 2004.)
    6. NAFTA Called for Free U.S. Access for Mexican Trucks
    Another agreement within NAFTA was never implemented. NAFTA would have allowed trucks from Mexico to travel within the United States beyond the current 20-mile commercial zone limit. A demonstration project by the Department of Transportation (DoT) was set up to review the practicality of this. In 2008, the House of Representatives terminated this project. It prohibited the DoT from implementing it without Congressional approval.
    Congress worried that Mexican trucks would have presented a road hazard. They are not subject to the same safety standards as U.S. trucks. U.S. truckers’ organizations and companies opposed it. Otherwise, they would have lost
    business. Currently, Mexican trucks must stop at the 20-mile limit and have their goods transferred to U.S. trucks.
    There was also a question of reciprocity. The NAFTA agreement would have allowed unlimited access for U.S. vehicles throughout Mexico. A similar arrangement works well between the other NAFTA partner, Canada. But U.S. trucks are larger and carry heavier loads. That violates size and weight restrictions imposed by the Mexican government.
    7-Mexican cities most affected by NAFTA that are being promote to transnational corporations.
     Tijuana
     Mexicali
     Ciudad Juarez
     Guanajuato
     Aguascalientes
     Queretaro
     San Luis Potosi
     Puebla
     Saltillo
     Zacatecas
    The origin of NAFTA dates back to 1990 as a trade pact among the three nations. Three leaders, American President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas were each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement in their home countries and each participated in ceremonial signing in their respective capitals on December 17, 1992. Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd President thirty-four days after George H.W. Bush signed the NAFTA trade pact.

    The Lies Behind ‘Free Trade.

    After 25 Years, NAFTA Leaves Mexico’s Economy in Ruins

    NAFTA Failed Mexico

    The U.S. Economy History

  • old farmer

    I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Mexican President Pena-Nieto. It appears that he has just won the first round in this war. He has called Trump’s bluff and put Trump decisively on the back foot. Even Trump’s supporters are beginning to be made to see that Trump is a bully and an idiot. Obviously there is much more to come but “Good Job”.

    • Evita Spamm

      There are idiots on both sides of the border. Without considering myself more intelligent or with more vision, I just repeat the voices of bright people: If you put all your eggs in the same basket, you could loose them all. Mexico is in this sad situation: 80% if its trade is with USA! If this crisis does not ring bells on people, then nothing will. I say, for Mexico, the solution is DIVERSIFY its markets, making it Law, that trade with USA MUST NOT go higher than 50% of total. Mexico also MUST stop the disordered stampede northward, and instead, an organized, planned, coordinated Temporary Workers Treaty with the USA. It is the only BEST way to protect mexicans in the USA, while RESPECTING the immigration rules of USA.

  • Evita Spamm

    Thanks for saying it clearly: Trump is attacking Mexico because it is a weak country.
    Trump is not attacking China, the biggest enemy of USA, which has four times bigger trade deficit with, compared to Mexico.
    So why not attack China? Because Trump is scared of China; because China is a strong country, not like vulnerable Mexico, despite the fact that it is by logic the ENEMY number ONE of USA.
    Trump is a bully, attacking the weak, but coward with the strong ones.
    Moreover, Trump, by attacking Mexico is analogous as if he wanted to fill up an olympic swimming pool with one liter of water.

    • golfwar

      Trump has been attacking China. Much more to come I’m sure. It’s only been one week. Ever hear of getting the low-hanging fruit?

    • Does Trump want to take on China, Japan, and Germany who have larger trade deficits than Mexico?

      Canada – $576.7 billion traded with a $15.5 billion deficit.
      China – $599.4 billion traded with a $367 billion deficit.
      Mexico – $532.1 billion with a $60.6 billion deficit.
      Japan – $193.6 billion traded with a $68.6 billion deficit.
      Germany – $174.8 billion traded with a $74.9 billion deficit.

  • John P

    As a Canadian with family and financial ties to Mexico, I would urge Mexicans to stand up to this television actor/ huckster who became president. There are 6 million U.S. jobs that depend on trade with Mexico. Two border states that trade extensively with Mexico, California (692,000 jobs) and Texas (463,000 jobs) have the most. Trump is a bully who, as one associate has commented, “likes to throw a grenade in the board room to scare everyone” before he starts negotiating. That is what he has done with Mexico. Mr. Pena-Nieto has a lot of leverage. There is no way Trump could afford to get in a trade war, which would hurt the U.S. as much as Mexico. Let’s all take a deep breath. The world will have to wait a few years until this menace passes.

  • golfwar

    “Getting tough” is not the right move. There can easily be a “Win-Win” conclusion to this whole mess.
    Please understand the mentality of many of Americans who want to see illegal immigration stopped:
    1. We’re a nation of laws. We believe you can’t just look the other way when it’s convenient. Immigration must be legal – period. When we start picking/choosing the laws we want to follow chaos ensues.
    2. We’re a generous nation. But we must be allowed to be generous on our own terms, not have it forced on us by politicians just trying to line up future votes or who are bowing to other political interests.
    3. California Liberals may be ok with it, but many of us are not when we see illegal immigrants taken advantage of with poor working conditions, poor wages, and no legitimate access to services. We have plenty of work for immigrants to do I’m sure (can’t even find restaurant cooks in San Jose anymore), but why can’t it be done with folks here on work visas who are vetted properly, and who can be here with the honor and dignity they deserve instead of being forced to come here illegally, live in fear, and have no legitimate access to basic human needs. Illegal immigration is not fair for anyone.
    4. Trump wasn’t our best choice, but he was the only choice on the ballot if there’s any chance at all for making progress in fixing our badly broken/abused immigration system. He’s a loud mouth with an unusual negotiating style. Try to see through that and work to help us all find common ground. It really is the only good way forward. We can’t keep going along this path of just turning the other cheek on illegal immigration. It’s unsustainable. It strips Mexicans and others of their pride and dignity, and portrays them as less human. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it’s not the way forward.

  • Güerito

    “In all its harshness, Trump’s barrage against Mexico shows the tremendous weakness of the Mexican economic model built beginning in the 1990s.

    This model replaced the exhausted strategy for growth based on industrialization for the domestic market, upon which the prosperity of the PRI regime’s classical era had been based. The demise of the development model based on the protection of domestic industry against foreign competition was due, mainly, to the fact that workers’ real salaries did not grow enough for them to become consumers in the market that was intended to be developed. Industrial workers’ low salaries and farmers’ poverty wages became obstacles to economic growth.

    The economic project change, promoted by the technocracts led by Carlos Salinas de Gortari wanted to convert the decayed model’s main defect – low wages – into Mexico’s main competitive advantage in the framework of the free market economy that rapidly paved its way in the world since the 1980’s. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Canada sought to take advantage of the wage differential and the long border with the main world market in order to attract productive investment which would encourage a new phase of growth.

    At most, results of the change in model have been mediocre. Growth rates comparable to those achieved during the boom of the previous PRI model (aimed at development of the domestic market) were not obtained. In fact, economic growth in the last 25 years has hardly been above population growth.

    In reality, if the decade of recession prior to this change is added to this, Mexico has lived on the verge of stagnation, without substantial progress in per capita income or improvements in the terrible distribution of national wealth.

    With hopes placed on the expansion of the neighbouring market, successive governments gave up pushing for development strategies that promoted the growth of the domestic market, but also did nothing to promote industries with competitive advantages other than low wages. The catastrophic situation of the national educational system and miserable public expenditure in science and technology have contributed substantially to the fact that almost the only thing attractive for investment is the possibility of paying ten times less than in the United States for the labor force.

    The blow that Trump is giving Mexico starkly shows Mexico’s tremendous dependency with respect to its basically single exterior market and the national economy’s incapacity to correct the tremendous losses that the economic and material wall driven by the new American government is going to provoke. Without NAFTA, or with a free trade agreement renegotiated for the worse, Mexico is going to have a very tough time.

    This comes at a time in which the State’s capacity to reduce violence and ensure public safety is seriously impaired by the decomposition of the clientelista control mechanisms of the old regime (in which crime was controlled by deals with criminal groups) and the absurdity of facing the security crisis with a military strategy, instead of developing state capacities based on police forces’ technical competencies and the strengthening of a legal order that provides general certainties.

    The decadent Mexican State, with its high dose of corruption and inefficiency, will be very weak against the looming crisis. The worst part is that, in the short term, the emergence of a collective leadership capable of leading the institutional reform process necessary to cope with the catastrophe is nowhere to be seen.”


    • Beartakedown

      Well said!! One thing is for sure is the united States doesn’t want to see Mexico become non competitive and wants to do business with them. It takes 2 to tango and right now the Mexican president is acting like a child and hurting his own people.

      • Güerito

        Thanks. The editorial is not mine, but it’s what I’ve been saying in comments here for more than a year and a half.

      • There is tremendous pressure on Peña Nieto to withdraw from NAFTA and a majority of Mexicans support this. NAFTA as you state has had the effect of suppressing wages and manufacturing provides employment but most manufacturers import all the raw materials and components and export the finished product and in effect, they export imports and profits outside of Mexico. Because NAFTA opened sectors previously closed to the US such as agriculture. The import of 18 billion dollars of crops like sugar, beans, corn and wheat have crippled the traditional communal and collective farms in Mexico that are not able to compete with big industrial farms in the US. The other factor that you hear almost nothing in the US press is the way China has entered Latin America. On the day Trump was inaugurated, the Chinese ambassador gave a speech to the Mexican congress with a new proposal to replace the US in China’s own version of the TPP from which it was excluded by the US. The Chinese are aggressively promoting their interests and see the Trump administration as their opportunity to dominate trade in the Pacific Region and Latin America. China has a trade deficit 10 times that of Mexico with the US. Yesterday, Germany which has a much larger trade deficit with the US than Mexico made an offer of a special trade relationship with Mexico even though Mexico already has a trade agreement with the EU. NAFTA has been of little benefit to Mexico and withdrawing it means that GATT rules will apply in trade between the US and both sides can apply tariffs on the products they want to. President Peña will lose the Presidency for the PRI if he mishandles any negotiation with Trump. In fact, it may be impossible for the PRI to hold on to NAFTA and the presidency.

      • Between 1994 and 2015 the US and Canada lost 5.1 million manufacturing jobs and in the same period Mexico gained 300,000 jobs. The rest of those 5.1 million jobs went to China or were lost to automation.

  • The US created their immigration “problem” by not enforcing existing law. If undocumented workers could not obtain employment because the employers feared heavy fines and were required to verify immigration status of their workers, the problem would not have grown to what it is today. In Mexico, there is a very clear law on how to handle foreign workers and to hire foreign workers. Companies won’t even risk allowing a foreigner without a work or business visa to enter their site because of the every expensive fine for doing so. To “enforce” immigration law by forcing the worker to accept exploitative conditions and fear deportation and not penalize the employer is the root cause of the US problem.
    NAFTA has harmed the Mexican economy more than it has helped and it is time that Mexico withdraw from the treaty.

    • SilenceIsConsent

      Every employer is required to complete an I-9 form on each candidate employee to prove the individual has the right to work in the U.S. The problem is that there is no agency where the completed forms are processed. They just go into the person’s file.

      • In a Mexican factory, a visitor cannot even enter the property without providing his/her work visa. Work Visas are very specific, they give permission to work in a specific business. If you change jobs you must go to immigration and report it and pay a fee and your employer must be registered to hire foreign workers and provide you with a letter inviting you to work. Companies cannot have more than 10% foreign workers unless they have special skills or are administrative personnel. The fine for having someone on your site without the proper visa is around $3000.00 USD for both the Employer and the Employee. Companies are very diligent about enforcing this requirement. I am an attorney with a law firm in Tijuana, Baja California. My business, a corporation, has a permit to hire foreign workers. I have had this permit for many years but it has been at least 10 years since I had a foreigner on my payroll, but my office is visited every year by immigration and I must present a list of all employees. It is not difficult to obtain a work or resident visa in Mexico. If you are retired you only have to prove an income of about $1500 USD per month from outside of Mexico; you cannot work. If you want to open a business, you can first set up your corporation that creates employment and then ask permission to work in it and you will obtain a Visa. If you have specific skills, a company can offer you a job explaining why they need your skills, you take the letter to a Mexican consulate in your home country and you will be granted a Visa to work. This works very well and Mexican companies are very careful not to hire someone that does not have a legal current Visa.

        • SilenceIsConsent

          My husband is a bankruptcy, family law and corporate law attorney. I work for him. Here in the U.S. companies are required to complete I-9 forms and to verify the right of a candidate to work in the U.S. The paperwork is filed in the individual’s personnel file without scutiny independent eyes.

  • Pesobill

    How is a wall being built by the USA any of freaking Mexico’s business ? We don’t get involved in their third world corrupt politics and you don’t see the dolt Americans living in that shothole rioting in the streets of Mexico burning their flag and protesting . The media is giving this third world turn way to much credence and we need to play hardball with these opportunists and their taking advantage of the slackness of the American government . Now we have an actual leader looking out for American’s interest first and we have to listen to idiots from celebrities ,billionaires and clueless third world counties and their berating attitudes . American first was the President’s focus so others better get used to it .

    • SilenceIsConsent

      Fuck off you piece of dog shit.

  • Henry Wilson

    agreed. no happier bunch in mexico than all of the local mayors, state governors, congressional deputies, senators and the president epn being able to turn the media spotlight from their criminal activities to the bogeyman trump.

  • Jose Yates

    If the United States is forced to build the security wall n our southern border I suggest we move the border further south to where maexico narrows. Just a few miles north of Mexico City for example. I also think the Mexicans who live in the currently northern Mexican states we be so happy to finally be legal US citizens. Just think how nice it would be.

    • SilenceIsConsent

      So you want to tell Mexico what to do and steal more of their land. Fuck off you chode.

    • You are an idiot if you really believe that most Mexicans want to become US citizens. The only thing Mexicans admire about the US is higher wages.

      • Jose Yates

        Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of them.

        • Why do you live in Mexico if you have so little respect for the people?

          • Jose Yates

            Sir, I love Mexicans and have great respect for for them. Mexicans who I know are warm affecinate people. It’s the Mexican ruling class I despise and I believe Mexicans deserve better than the leaders they have had.

  • Robert Bejsovec

    This is so silly Mexico can end this in 1 day, 1. Play the China card, when the US sees Mex. Opening treaty talks with China Trump over. 2. Why should Mexicans die stopping drugs going to the US, make all drugs legal and hell with the border.

    • This is already happening. China presented an alternative to the TPP that is being debated and already has been accepted by New Zealand and Australia. Many people are advocating withdrawal from the NAFTA – if any of the party gives a 6 month notice of withdrawal from NAFTA, after the 6 month passes, NAFTA stays in effect for one year and then the GATT kicks in and any of the parties can begin adding tariffs and import taxes as they deem fit. Any import taxes placed by any party before that period of time violates the treaty. Treaty violations affect the good name and reputation of a party with all of their international interactions.

      • Robert Bejsovec

        WOW thanx U know so much about this stuff, I love this place and its people but i don’t know it like U do. Keep up the good work, now we need the gov. to stop the senseless killings over drugs, its the stupid addicts up north that causes the problem in the first place. thanx

        • I am originally from the US and I came to Mexico in 1985 to work in the maquiladora industry. I later went to law school and am a licensed Mexican attorney. Setting up maquiladoras and providing legal services is a large part of my practice. The maquiladoras had a much better deal with Mexico before NAFTA. Before NAFTA they could temporarily import materials from any country conditioned on the export of the final product. Because NAFTA bans preferential tariff treatment on materials conditioned on exporting the final product, Mexico had to create programs like PROSEC in order to relieve the maquilas from paying high duties on non NAFTA materials, specifically those from China. This makes importing and exporting considerably more complicated and expensive. Because of NAFTA, Mexico lost a great many manufacturers to China. Some of whom have returned to Mexico because of the higher transport costs, quality problems and lack of intellectual property protections in China.

          • Robert Bejsovec

            Textile’s O shit i can C how China can be a threat, there like ant’s over there, billion of them, well hear’s another ass hole idea, pumping oil and then giving to the US, and then paying to get it back and i thought trump was nuts, Mex. doesn’t need the US to refine its oil, refinery R A no brainer, I use to work 4 a refinery, once the damn things built high schoolers can run um, and once a year bring in some heavy hitters to clean up and re-adjust things and your back up running. Maybe theres just too much corruption that rips off any profit. Well have a good year and hope we survive the next 4, bob out

  • ihatefacebook121

    You can only get so far with a tyrant like Donald Trump. The worst is yet to come. Read the Scriptures for more details.

  • Güerito

    Hey, César. The comment below by Juan Reynoso, in response to TEEJAYZ, looks like it was flagged for no good reason. It’s actually quite a good substantive comment. It appears we have MND readers playing censor again.

    Perhaps the poster is not aware of this. Can you correct it?

  • SilenceIsConsent

    Mexico went through the Mexican American war because European opportunists wanted all the land. They slaughtered Mexicans to steal their land. Freaking greedy lazy European trash.

    • NoMalaria

      What did the Mexicans do to the Apache and Comanche and numerous other tribes when they wanted and took their land? Why, they slaughtered them at every opportunity. Does that make them “Freaking greedy lazy Mexican trash?”

      • SilenceIsConsent


      • SilenceIsConsent


      • SilenceIsConsent

        I have no idea what you’re talking about. Greedy, lazy mexican trash? How about American genocide of Indians and nearly causing the extinction of bison to remove the food and clothing for Indian tribes. You really need a dose of reality.

        I do know that George Washington, the “Father” of the United States had no ethics and advocated infecting Indians with Smallpox by giving them infected blankets.

        Quote. In 1779, George Washington sent orders to General John Sullivan concerning the need to attack and destroy the Iroquois Nations.

        “The immediate objects are total destruction of their settlements, and capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex possible -“

        Washington was also an advocate of germ warfare, first introduced by Sir Jeffery Amherst after whom the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, and Amherst College are named. The idea of germ warfare with smallpox was suggested to Colonel Henry Bouquet, after which Colonel Bouquet wrote back:

        “I will try to inoculate the [Indians] with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to expose good men against then, I wish we could make use of the Spanish method, to hunt them with English dogs, supported by rangers and some light horse, who would, I think, effectually extirpate or remove the vermin.”
        (http // nativeamericannetroots dot net/diary/252)

        • NoMalaria

          Of course you have no idea what I am talking about. You are a closed minded ideologue that hates Europeans. Mexico, Mexican politicians, and Mexican people, like all nations, have committed atrocities and made grave errors. But, let us talk of today. See this:

          “There is a “reasonable basis” to believe that both Mexican government forces
          and the Zetas drug cartel have committed crimes against humanity against
          civilians over the past decade, according to this report from the Open
          Society Justice Initiative and five Mexican partners.

          The report, Undeniable Atrocities: Confronting Crimes against Humanity in Mexico,
          also accuses successive governments of almost completely failing to
          ensure accountability for atrocity crimes, due primarily to political
          obstruction. It calls on Mexico to create an internationalized
          investigative body, based inside Mexico, with the power to prosecute
          both atrocity crimes and corruption.

          Undeniable Atrocities incorporates over three years of
          research by the Open Society Justice Initiative and five independent
          Mexican human rights organizations: Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y
          Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, Centro Diocesano para los Derechos
          Humanos Fray Juan de Larios, I(dh)eas Litigio Estratégico en Derechos
          Humanos, Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho,
          and Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos.

          The report’s analysis relies on legal standards of the Rome Statute,
          which established the International Criminal Court, and which Mexico
          ratified in 2005.”

          • SilenceIsConsent

            Actually, I’m not close minded at all. I never heard of the Scalp wars till you brought it up. I’m going to look it up. The reason Latino people are leaving their countries is to get away from the cartels. These murders stand out for me.

            The country is corrupt. This jamoke embezzled $150,000 in “public” funds. Still the judge forced this former Governor to be released. /mexiconewsdaily.com/news/judge-orders-release-of-former-governor/

            The people entering the U.S. are refugees fleeing a horrendous situation.

            I have no problem with the undocumented immigrants. I live in Los Angeles for over 25 years. There should be a path to citizenship.

        • NoMalaria

          An here is the Mexican people in action against the Apache during the Scalp wars:

          “In 1835, the government of Sonora put a bounty on the Apache which, over
          time, evolved into a payment by the government of 100 pesos for each
          scalp of a male 14 or more years old. Later, Chihuahua offered the same
          bounty for males plus a bounty of 50 pesos for the capture of an adult
          female and 25 pesos for a child under 14. Bounty hunters were also
          allowed to keep any Apache property they captured. The bounty for one
          Apache male was more than many Mexicans and American workers earned in a
          full year.[16] It is unclear, however, whether the scalp bounty was actually paid during the first few years.”

        • NoMalaria

          And your comments about George Washington advocating germ warfare is interesting because the “Germ theory of disease” was not accepted until 1860.

          You need to learn that just because you read something that fits your world view does not make it so.

          Please see this link:


  • NoMalaria

    Thank you SilencelsConsent!

    All of our past ancestors lived in a world of periodic and predictable starvation, disease, violent death, ignorance, and fear. The few that survived begat us. And let me tell you, they were tough people who survived at the abyss of extinction.

    Me? I am as violent as our ancestors in that I want to kill and/or imprison cartel members and drug dealers in the United States, Mexico, China, India or any other nation that allows them to exist. I have five children and every day I pray to God that they never use pot, meth, heroin or any other drug. I am deeply scared every single day.

    As far as immigration is concerned, legal yes, illegal no. The US is still a vast empty space waiting to be filled by all.

    • SilenceIsConsent

      I found a good article on Mexican states putting a bounty on Apache and Commanche Indians. The reason was the tribes were crossing the border stealing cattle and women. Scalps were the way to verify the kill for the bounty of 100 pesos.
      xroads (dot) virginia.edu/~hyper/hns/scalpin/oldfolks.html

      The French, British and American Indians also scalped. Scalps verified kills.
      www (dot) varsitytutors.com/earlyamerica/early-america-review/volume-3/scalping-during-the-french-and-indian-war

      Europeans were the original scalpers. www (dot) manataka.org/page1438.html
      . . . .
      I’m not positive about the human race at all. The things we do to other species with no regard for the value of their lives or our interdependency on them keeps me constantly tweeked as do the corporations that couldn’t care less if we all died as long a they get richer.

      The best way to protect your family from drugs is to be involved in everything they do. Drugs are in every cranny just waiting for a new victim.