September 14, 2017

The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in East Texas brought out the spirit and solidarity of those affected and touched by this tragedy. As shown in various media and social network outlets, East Texans carried out the initial rescue campaigns themselves. They worked diligently by organizing auxiliary groups and strategized on how to help those in need. The Texans’ initiative was not triggered by the inefficiency of the governmental authorities, which have done a heroic job, but instead by the magnitude of the natural disaster and the devastation that was left behind as it swept through East Texas. In the framework of the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Mexican government published a communication offering solidarity and goodwill to all those impacted by the storm. Importantly, Mexico’s government also emphasized its willingness and availability to offer aid to mitigate the devastating effects of the floods wrought by Hurricane Harvey.Given the complex and conflicting interests of the parties involved, the NAFTA negotiations on possible amendments are not exempt from tension. Notwithstanding these tensions, the Mexican government publicly stated that it “expressed full solidarity with the people and the government of the United States.” Furthermore, Mexico “offered the United States government all the assistance and collaboration available by the different Mexican governmental agencies in order to serve the impacts of this natural disaster, as good neighbors in difficult times.” In fact, aside from the tensions currently accompanying the NAFTA renegotiation process, reciprocity and solidarity between neighbors should never fade away. A great example of such mutuality was when the U.S. Government and its people helped those affected by the earthquake in Mexico City in 1985. Regardless of the agreements or disagreements reached between neighboring countries in current trade negotiations, goodwill should prevail. This is especially true between two longtime friends and neighbors like Mexico and the United States.

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