With Rhetoric Turned Up To Ten, Has The Real Relationship Between The US and Mexico Changed?

An expert says Mexico’s desire to preserve NAFTA has muted the country’s reaction to Donald Trump’s aggressive statements.

By Michael MarksFebruary 1, 2018 11:37 am| ,

Within the past 18 months, the relationship between the United States and Mexico has changed a great deal, at least rhetorically. The rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have focused particular attention on immigration and trade.

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor of government at George Mason University, says the rhetoric coming from the United States has changed significantly since President Donald Trump’s election, while the impact on the countries’ actual relationship isn’t always as heated, nor is it always clear what each country wants to happen..

“For this agreement to end or for this agreement to be renegotiated, there needs to be more conversation,” Correa-Cabrera says of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

She says the ultimate outcome of NAFTA renegotiation isn’t yet known.

Drug and immigration policy is another area of contention between the two countries, and Trump’s comments about “bad hombres” from south of the border could be expected to irritate Mexico. But Correa-Cabrera says Mexico has not threatened to end cooperation with the United States on drug enforcement or border security.

“This is interesting,” she says. “We don’t really know what Mexico wants to do with regards to their cooperation.”

Correa-Cabrera says this may be because Mexico is focused on defending NAFTA “at any cost.”

Written by Angela Bonilla.