One administration can’t change Mexico-US relationship: Envoy
New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) With US President Donald Trump’s talk of making Mexico pay for a wall he plans to build along the border, deporting undocumented immigrants and revisiting the Nafta, the Latin American nation’s Ambassador to India Melba Pria on Wednesday said that one specific administration in Washington cannot change the relationship between the two North American countries.
“The reality is Mexico and the US are neighbours,” Pria said in an interaction with the media here.
“The relationship is very comprehensive and complicated and one specific administration cannot change it,” she said.
After assuming office in January, Trump has kept to his campaign promise of making Mexico pay for building a wall along the border with the US to check illegal immigration and deporting undocumented immigrants from the southern neighbour.
He has also faulted the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) as being biased in favour of Mexico and has talked of revisiting the accord.
In the light of all these, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has since cancelled a scheduled visit to Washington.
“The Mexican President cancelled the visit to the US because the tone was not conducive for a dialogue,” Ambassador Pria said.
She said that since the signing of the Nafta in 1994 by Canada, Mexico and the US, an economy of $19 trillion has been created.
“We do trade of $1 million per minute with the US or $1.4 billion per day.”
Stating that Mexico not only did trade with the US but also produced together with its northern neighbour, Pria said that “parts of a car move eight times across the border” in the process of manufacturing.
“We do trade of $92 billion with Texas alone per year.”
According to the Ambassador, Mexico was part of the solution and not the problem and Mexican migrants contribute 8 per cent to the US GDP.
She said of the Mexican community of over 34 million in the US, two-thirds were born in the US.
“These are not numbers. These are human stories,” she stated.
The Ambassador said that Mexico’s strategy was to negotiate with the US by respecting the sovereignty and laws of the two nations.
“We do not believe in doing ‘you lose’ deals,” she said.
As for building a wall along the US-Mexico border, Pria said the border should be secure but the cost for constructing the wall should be spent on building hospitals, schools and infrastructure.
“The wall will threaten as many as 111 species,” she added.