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State of the Mexico – US Relationship

April 11, 2017
State of the Mexico – US Relationship

Mexico and the United States share a lengthy land border that stretches almost 2,000 miles, along with a common history marked by agreements and disagreements, mutual support, alliances against common enemies and even a war between the two countries. Both countries have been able to overcome difficult episodes and have been able to integrate their economies, as well as other social, cultural, artistic and athletic endeavors. It is estimated that the number of people in the United States of Mexican ancestry is close to 30 million, while approximately 11 million native Mexicans now live in cities all over the Unites States. On the other hand, U.S. citizens have chosen Mexico as a tourist destination and a preferred vacation spot. It is believed that close to two million U.S. citizens have decided to retire or live in Mexico. Universities in both countries maintain strong ties and many Mexican students attend U.S. universities as part of their academic careers. International trade between the two countries is particularly meaningful, as Mexico is the third major trading partner to the U.S., after China and Canada. On the other hand, the U.S. is Mexico’s principal trading partner.

The position and comments that Donald J. Trump has exhibited toward Mexico during his campaign and his first several weeks in office have generated serious concerns. Moreover, President Enrique Peña Nieto has faced harsh criticism for his response to such rhetoric, as the country demands a solid defense and dignity for Mexico. Pending formal discussions as to renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other commercial matters, it is foreseeable that other aspects of the bilateral relationship will be reviewed, such as border security, combating drug trafficking, management of shared natural resources and the flow of migrants. A topic that may be of particular interest is Mexico’s collaboration to stop the flow of Central Americans traveling through Mexico with the intent to enter the U.S. illegally.

The long-standing relationship between the two countries is currently being tested. Many are hopeful that avenues to overcome such conflicts will be found in order to achieve mutual collaboration and reciprocity, which is indispensable to reaching the objectives shared by the populations of both countries. The U.S. has expressed approval as to the designation of Geronimo Gutierrez as the new ambassador of Mexico in Washington, D.C., and it is highly likely that the US will assign a new ambassador in Mexico to replace Roberta S. Jacobson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.

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