Viernes 14 de Junio 2024

Mexico and the U.S.: A Complicated Moment

An attack with biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons on U.S. territory will likely affect Mexico and Canada

Escrito en MIGRACIÓN el

For decades, Mexico has lived under the illusion of finding a balance in the gravitational pull represented by its geographic, economic, and social proximity to the United States.

But, for better or worse, it hasn't found it. At least, nothing that offers more advantages than disadvantages or lower costs.
In 1990, then-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari literally proposed to Europeans that they take advantage of Mexico's geographical position for trade with the United States, Latin America, and the Far East.

However, Europe was dealing with the collapse of the socialist bloc at the time and abstained. Months later, negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began.

Mexico also sought to partner with Japan at that time, hoping to find counterbalances.

Geopolitics and geoeconomics have advantages and disadvantages; geographic proximity makes Mexico a desirable base for reaching the U.S. market, but also an almost obligatory route for criminal activities. It makes Mexico ideal for economic and productive integration but also so economically linked as to be vulnerable to socio-political demands.

At the same time, like it or not, there is an integration movement that seems inevitable, represented by increasingly interrelated societies through migration and growing economic interdependence.

But while the economy and living standards can generally rise, proximity and integration create another set of problems: they can make Mexico a "collateral damage" target, directly or indirectly, in any attack on the United States, its infrastructure, or its economy.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, resulted in at least 16 direct Mexican deaths in the Twin Towers of New York.
Worse still, there is practically no U.S. city where an attack wouldn't potentially include Latino victims in general, and Mexicans in particular: there are at least 37.5 million Mexican-Americans, including 11 million born in Mexico.

Additionally, an attack with biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons on U.S. territory would likely affect Mexico and Canada, the neighboring countries, despite anyone believing that a charm, a stamp of the Virgin of Guadalupe, or the border will limit pathogens, poisons, or radioactivity.

This is not to mention the economic impact of border closures, as happened in the days immediately following September 11.
At the same time, nearshoring and the continuous reality of the U.S. economy place the Mexican government, both current and upcoming, before a brutal alternative: deepen its alliance with the U.S., with all the advantages and inconveniences of a more intimate relationship, or remain on the sidelines, with all the problems but very few of the benefits.