Last week, Donald Trump went to Mexico and met with President Enrique Peña Nieto. The meeting proved surprising, and unpopular, with people on both sides of the border, and even though President Peña Nieto agreed to meet with Mr. Trump to clear up his perception of Mexican people and to speak about Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall, the meeting appeared to do nothing to change the Republican presidential candidate’s outlandish rhetoric involving our southern neighbors.
The meeting has been notably condemned in Mexico and has led to the resignation of Finance Minister Luis Videgaray, who personally arranged the meeting between Mr. Trump and President Peña Nieto.
The meeting has also provided Mexican Sen. Armando Rios Piter with motivation to propose legislation that could put Mexico in direct conflict with the United States.
One of the cornerstones of Donald Trump’s campaign — and, incidentally, one of the few things he has discussed with some level of clarity — is his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Mr. Trump has threatened to cancel should he be elected President of the United States. He views the agreement with contempt, believing that NAFTA is damaging to U.S. jobs and the manufacturing industry. But if Mr. Trump were elected and shut NAFTA down, Sen. Piter’s bill would trigger a review and possible cancelation of all bilateral agreements between Mexico and the United States.
If enacted, the bill would ban the use of public funds by the finance ministry if the use is “against the country’s interest,” an apparent shot at former Finance Minister Videgaray. It prevents Mexico from dropping a single dime on a visit by Mr. Trump and prevents the country from paying for Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall. The bill also calls for Mexico to retaliate if Mr. Trump, as President of the United States, specifically targets Mexicans living in the United States, in any economic capacity.
In short, Mexico is putting up its dukes just in case “President Donald Trump” goes from a distorted fantasy to a dystopic reality. Of the bill, its ramifications, and the motivation for it, Sen. Piter said:
“We can’t take a partisan view of this. All parties in the Senate are in agreement that Mexico needs to stand up for itself and strengthen its relationship with the United States. We want to shut Trump’s mouth, which has been spewing this hateful speech.”
It’s worth noting that Sen. Piter’s concerns, as well as the concerns of the Mexican government, are not without legitimacy. Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton are racing to Nov. 8 neck-and-neck, with Mr. Trump leading by a hair in some polls.
The cancellation of bilateral agreements between the United States and Mexico will only serve to decimate the relationship between the two nations and while people like Donald Trump and a percentage of his supporters share his sentiment toward our southern neighbors may find no issue with that possibility, losing Mexico as an ally would be problematic for a nation whose spent years straining numerous relationships.
The United States is on enough shit-lists already. There’s no need to place it on another one and a President Trump would go out of his way to make sure the United States appears on another one.