The first few weeks of 2017 have been marked by a troublesome sequence of events in the arena of U.S.-Mexico relations. Donald Trump is pushing forward with a strident anti-Mexico campaign on Twitter but serious questions remain about whether Trump is merely showboating or if he might be willing to risk upending the U.S.’s longstanding partnership with Mexico. To get a sense of what investors might expect in the weeks and months ahead I reached out to Grant Sunderland, a Mexico City based political risk analyst at Maplecroft.
Nathaniel Parish Flannery: What’s happening with U.S. – Mexico relations? Is this dispute just superficial or do you see it as a major deterioration in the relationship?
Grant Sunderland: The events last week marked the worst point for U.S.-Mexico relations in living memory. The anti-Mexico rhetoric, the executive orders for the construction of a border wall, and the crackdown on undocumented migrants have set the stage for a highly volatile bilateral relationship over the next four years.
However, both countries need each other to prosper economically. Problems in Mexico mean problems in the U.S., and vice versa. While tensions and public confrontations will become more heated and regular, triggering a separation, we don’t expect a permanent divorce.