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Why Mexico is a key issue in the 2024 US election

Why Mexico is a key issue in the 2024 US election
TITLE PLACEHOLDER | US Politics In: 60 | GZERO Media

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics.

I'm here in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, which is a country that is turning out to be a major potential campaign issue in the US 2024 elections. We've already seen several Republican candidates try to distinguish themselves by painting Mexico as a bad guy. Florida governor Ron DeSantis has said that he wants to militarize the border in order to stop the flow of drugs, guns and crime and illegal immigrants coming over the border. Former President Donald Trump famously renegotiated NAFTA with Mexico and used the threat of additional tariffs to force Mexico to secure its southern border to prevent Central American migrants moving up into the United States. So this is going to be a big issue over the next 12 months in the US.

Both Democrats and Republicans, likely Democrat nominee Joe Biden and potential nominee Donald Trump are vying for the votes of autoworkers inside the US, which means promising to bring more domestic production back home to the US, which could potentially hurt Mexico, which has, of course, a free trade agreement with the United States. There's also a presidential election here in Mexico. So depending on the outcome of that, that could be the opportunity to fundamentally reset relations. One likely candidate has virtually no foreign policy experience, and one likely candidate has a lot of foreign policy experience, having dealt extensively with the United States. And the outcome here is going to be important when the US and Mexico start to renegotiate the USMCA, the trade agreement that binds the three North American countries together in 2026. There is a periodic six-year agreement to revisit details of that. And as the US starts to focus more on industrial policy and production directly in the United States, this could be an issue for Mexico, who counts on the American market for a large segment of its exports, particularly in the automotive industry. The Mexican government has lagged behind a little bit other governments in taking advantage of the opportunity of the trade war between the US and China to create more sourcing opportunities out of Mexico. And that's going to be a major issue to watch over the next several years. So lots of interesting issues here in Mexico that will affect US politics.


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