It has been more than a year since Donald Trump was elected, and since then he has tweeted more policies and complaints than any other political leader. He has put international relations at risk and ended the American dream for hundreds of thousands of Americans and non-Americans. Is there anything he hasn’t done?
Recently, he went bonkers and in just 280 characters launched the worst threats he has ever addressed to our country. He has called Mexicans rapists, criminals, the worst of the worst. He has threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and deport hundreds of thousands of young Dreamers. Why? Because he feels like it.
Donald doesn’t have a clue about economy, society or diplomacy. He threatened to bomb Syria on Twitter; and if Russia is opposed, it will also get some. Be careful Donald, remember who put you in that presidential chair.
Deep down, Donald knows that Mexico is not his toy—he knows that we are better as allies than as enemies. NAFTA makes Mexico, the United States and Canada highly competitive with a combined GDP of $20 trillion dollars—and this guy wants to tear it down on a whim.
The essence of the free trade agreement is:
1. Treat all investors as equals, meaning that foreign direct investment is as valuable as domestic investment.
2. Regulation or elimination of all import and export taxes between the three nations. With some special rules for agricultural products, automobiles and clothing.
3. Exports must certify their origin; that is, if a product was made in Peru but sent from Mexico there are taxes when entering the United States or Canada.
Trump continues to fail to fulfil his campaign promises. Make America great? The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country in the world. Good old Donald doesn’t understand the reason for this deficit and yet it’s so simple; the U.S. is buying more than it produces.
He is so ignorant in economy that after one of his tweets Amazon lost more than 4% of its value and the stock market fell by 2%. What is it he doesn’t understand about Amazon? Maybe he has some hidden interests there?
Today we continue renegotiating the treaty because of good old Donald’s whims, we keep listening to him whining, and reading his conditions on Twitter; the most recent one is that the Dreamers depend on the construction of the fucking wall.
How on Earth can the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people be put at risk to fulfill an empty campaign promise? Donald knows that if he continues on this path, his voters will begin to question his inability to keep his promises. The electoral base that brought him to power is essentially formed by the angry American who yearns for his "American dream" back. Here we have to be careful, Mexico, because we also have a false leader who promises a great life without telling us how he is going to do it—you know who I am referring to.
Donald inherited a nation in prosperity and he is working hard to bring it to ruin. A trade war with China? War threats to North Korea and Syria? Ignoring Mexico’s sovereign rights? He is walking on a very thin line between ignorance and dictatorship.
Trump's most recent obsession is the caravan of Central American migrants crossing through Mexico in protest for their rights. Trump, after his daily dose of Fox News, thought it was alarming and launched a Twitter tirade with information as distorted as his mind.
Unfortunately, this is how the mind of the president of the most powerful nation in the world works; he sees a story on TV, becomes obsessed with it (no matter how true it is), and turns it into a horror story.
Sending armed forces to the border will only further strain our relations, as well as being silly because statistically arrests on the border have dropped significantly over the years; in 2000 there were over 1,600,000 arrests and in 2017 only 300,000. See Donald? Fewer and fewer Mexicans and Latinos want to go to your country. The American dream is dead—you have killed it.
As a Mexican and as a citizen it is my responsibility to raise my voice to defend the sovereignty and integrity of Mexico. Just as our President Enrique Peña Nieto did when he cautioned him against acting as a capricious child.
Our nations work better as allies—together we achieved a competitiveness that hasn’t been seen in any other region of the world. We work together fighting organized crime—Mexico has never backed off from our shared responsibility in this task.
Trump should know that Mexico is turning its eyes to the East. The U.S. is not the only trading partner in the world and China is taking America’s place as a leading nation. Mexico is not alone, we have 12 free trade agreements with 46 nations.
Mexico has been congruent in its relationship with the United States—mistakes have been made but we have managed to confront them. Donald Trump must learn that we won’t remain silent on his threats, we will not keep anything in the next time he offends us—and I’m sure that won’t take long.
I congratulate my President Peña Nieto for firmly defending the dignity of our country and, to some extent, I thank Trump. Without him, Mexico would not be more united than ever. Even the candidates for the presidency of the republic are united in a single voice.
We still have many challenges ahead, but knowing that Mexico makes itself heard in one voice is enough that they won't mess with us. Trump must understand that Mexico might be small in comparison, but we are mighty.
Vicente Fox was president of Mexico from 2000-2006.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own.
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