July 25, 2019

300 PALABRAS

By Mario Melgar-Adalid

Tariffs and the US-Mexico Relationship

Mexico and the United States recently experienced an episode that gained attention because of the impact it had on the bilateral relationship.  Upon the announcement, via threat, made by President Trump regarding progressive tariff increases of up to 25%, tension grew both in Mexico and the United States.  The threat of imposing tariffs was made in case Mexico failed to reinforce measures to avoid uncontrolled flows of Central American migrants seeking to enter the United States.  Experts in both countries feared that a crisis of unprecedented proportions could develop. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, “we do not support tariffs and still hope they can be avoided.”  Democrat Nancy Pelosi criticized the threat and stated it was “bad immigration policy.” Mexican officials met in Washington D.C. with their American counterparts, led by Vice President Mike Pence. In the end, the complicated negotiations succeeded, with the countries’ shared interest for an orderly and lawful flow of migrants, as well as the flow of goods and services pursuant to market and economic rules, prevailing.  “I am pleased to announce that the United States has reached an agreement with Mexico; the tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the United States on Monday against Mexico, are now suspended,” the President of Mexico tweeted. Mexican President Lopez Obrador also held a massive rally in Tijuana, officially titled “An act of Unity in Defense of Mexico’s Dignity and in Favor of Friendship with the United States.”

Fortunately, in this case, dialogue and the common interests of both countries won, adding a new chapter to the historical records of Mexico-U.S. bilateral relations.


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Issue 144 – June / July 2019