How Mexico should handle Trump

1/13/2017 The Economist

Donald_Trump)AMERICA’S allies and trading partners await Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House on January 20th with trepidation. None is more anxious than Mexico. Mr Trump began his election campaign by damning Mexicans as rapists and killers of American jobs. He has repeatedly threatened carmakers that invest in Mexico with import tariffs. Ford cancelled plans to build a $1.6bn plant there. He renewed his vow to make Mexico pay for his border wall at a press conference on January 11th. “Mexico has taken advantage of the United States,” he declared.

If Mr Trump matches his aggressive words with actions, the consequences will be grave. Mexico’s economy is closely entwined with that of the United States and Canada under the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The value of bilateral trade with its northern neighbour is equivalent to nearly half of its GDP. America buys three-quarters of Mexico’s exports. The 35m people of Mexican origin living in the United States send back $25bn a year in remittances. Mr Trump puts all that in jeopardy.

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