The United States-Mexico relationship has been rocked since Donald Trump became president, first over the issue of the border wall and then over issues of trade.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a meeting in Washington with President Donald Trump early on in the administration because he refused to discuss paying for a border wall between the two countries. Later, the two leaders later had what was described as a friendly discussion, but Trump on the very same day doubled down on his attacks against the imbalance in US-Mexico trade.
“Mexico has taken advantage of the US for long enough,” the president tweeted. “Massive trade deficits & little help on the very weak border, must change, NOW!”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has made it clear that administration policy is to go after bilateral trade deficits and that deficit reduction is a major U.S. goal in the NAFTA renegotiation. Lighthizer recently told a Washington think tank audience that trade deficits are a symptom of a lack of fairness in trading rules.
“It’s reasonable to ask,” he said, “whether what we pay and what we receive in these agreements are roughly equivalent.” Lighthizer reiterated that position at the close of the third round of NAFTA talks on September 27 when he said, “We continue to push for ways that will reduce the U.S. trade deficit.”...
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