Trump just dared the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, to cancel their scheduled meeting if Mexico was not prepared to pay for a gigantic border wall. Mexico has no interest in paying for Trump’s jewel of a campaign promise. Peña Nieto, who not surprisingly objected to being made to look like a servile lap dog, stood up to Trump and took the dare. He cancelled the meeting.
But here’s the problem. We need Mexico’s assistance in fighting both terrorism and the drug cartels. They are one of our most important trading partners. They will not, and should not, be expected to tolerate being treated as “less than.”
The big winner in a trade war with Mexico would be China, Mexico’s second leading trade partner. China has always been known as a shrewd country. So last year as Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric, China began making entreaties to Mexican leadership. They have been heavily expanding their trade reach in Latin America and increased trade with Mexico would dovetail nicely into their existing plans. Since Trump is already threatening a separate trade war with China, it kills two big orange birds with one stone.
Potential problems with Trump’s strategy?
Loss of a very important trading partner.
Increased presence of world power China on our southern border.
Social unrest in our own country as our hispanic population grows increasingly more disenfranchised.
A less secure homeland as we lose Mexico’s cooperation with drug enforcement and the war on terrorism.
Our border problems with Mexico could largely be solved with comprehensive immigration reform. Mexican citizens desiring immigration to the U.S. would prefer to line up and do so via legal means. Our present outdated and illogical system makes that impossible for most. It seems our country will soon suffer for Congress’s years of inaction on the issue. And for the blustering inexperience of our man child of a president.