Faced with the excesses of Trump, the battle-ready Mexico

The arrival of two American ministers on Thursday will be an opportunity for Mexico to go on the offensive and defend its factories and jobs.

Faced with the excesses of Trump, battle-ready Mexico

Almost serene, Mexico receives the first Thursday of Donald Trump emissaries. The President, Enrique Peña Nieto, will meet US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and the Minister of National Security, John Kelly. Together they will reopen the trade issues, immigration and border issues, stalled since the cancellation of the visit of Mexican President Washington in late January.

At the time, the strident demands of Trump to pay Mexico the construction of the wall on the border had shaken the government of Peña Nieto.

Three weeks have passed. Three weeks of respite for Mexicans. The Executive dodge the blows and tightens his speech. The Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, even past threats: if Washington refuses to renegotiate the Free Trade Agreement of North America (NAFTA) in favorable terms at all, Mexico works more on migration and security issues. In other words, he let go of drugs and migrants.

Low salaries. The extreme trade dependence of Mexico to the United States, which he destines 80% of its exports, says this official commitment to NAFTA, the renegotiation will take place in June. At the heart of this agreement is industrial production for export, such as automotive. A sector in Mexico providing many benefits (including low wages) to the point of turning the country into a giant assembly platform. Trump, he sees unfair competition. In early January, he celebrated the cancellation by Ford of creating a plant in Mexico. However, the US manufacturer announced the opening this year of two other production centers in Mexican land. “Ford does not share,” claims the company. A plant Cuautitlan-Izcalli, north of Mexico City, Ford employees are tossed between confidence and anxiety. “I’m afraid of losing my job,” says Ana María López, a technician 30 years. “There, in Mexico, calls for a boycott of Ford. But it is we, the workers, who will suffer, “she laments. On the adjoining car park, Jorge Alberto Reyes, who works for a subcontractor, contradicts the pessimism: “In the factory, there was never much work. The problem is a corruption of our political system. This is undermining us economically. ”

Wanderings. Mexico should he lose to the United States earn, according to the logic Trump? Mexican economists, such as José Luis de la Cruz, disassemble the rhetoric: “To get the job, it is not enough to dismantle a factory but also the entire production chain, with suppliers. It’s unthinkable. By cons, future investments will rather be the United States, in robotic assembly lines. In terms of jobs, both countries lose. ”

Meanwhile, renouncing count on their leaders, Mexicans rely on the vagaries of the US president to avoid the crisis. When it goes wrong – “Trump tropical,” they say – Mexico revels.