Why Does Mexico Care?
There are many reasons the election is of great interest to Mexico and lately it seems like every dinner discussion in Puerto Vallarta centers around the upcoming US election. Over 34 million people of Mexican origin live in the U.S. That’s reason enough, in itself, for major concern.
When Donald Trump threatens to build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it, he does more than make people angry. He motivates them. If Trump were to win, the resulting conflict would not take place just in Mexico but all over Latin America. Trump isn’t against just Mexicans. His vitriol extends to anyone of darker skin and second language.
The Mexico-US Bilateral Forum on Higher Education and Research (FOBESII), the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC) and the 21st Century Border Action Plan of 2014 are programs developed by the current administrations that have had a great deal of success and are highly functioning. To lose them would be the loss of myriad jobs on both sides of the border.
Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the U.S. behind China and Canada. Though neither Trump or Hillary are huge fans of NAFTA, of which Bill Clinton signed into policy, there is much less likely chance that Hillary will introduce high tariffs, whereas Trump has made it very clear he will. Trump’s wall and his threats to make Mexico pay for it are viewed with amusement by Mexico and made him the brunt of not only joke, he’s also the latest model for piñatas. Here in Puerto Vallarta we have watched citizens from both countries have a go at busting open Trump’s head for goodies, whether they like him or not.
Immigration is, of course, the subject that looms largest in the minds of Mexicans. Getting a visa to visit the US is difficult enough and the lottery system that grants visas to Mexicans is a stingy one. Trump has all but guaranteed those doors will be permanently closed.
Hillary Clinton will most likely extend investigations that the Obama administration has taken on, uncovering corruption by Mexican politicians. This is something that Mexicans look very favorably on and would support her for this reason alone.
If Hillary Clinton is looked at as an extension of Barack Obama, that’s not a negative for her in Mexico just as it wouldn’t be a negative if she is seen as an extension of Bill Clinton’s presidency because Clinton and Obama are both very popular in Mexico. Mexicans truly believe that having a woman as a U.S. president would empower women across Latin America, in terms of politics.
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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