President-elect Donald Trump might as well have been in office for the past month. His latest accomplishment already overshadows everything that President Barack Obama did in the past eight years.
Building a wall on our southern border was a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign platform, and he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Despite repeated denials, Mexico has now seemed to be inching toward that inevitability.
In a meeting with ambassadors and consuls yesterday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that Mexico will invest in modernizing and increasing security along the border, according to El Financiero.
Hmm. That sounds an awful lot like they’re getting ready to pay for the wall, while saving face as they approach Trump’s hard line in the sand. If Mexico really believed the wall was a no-go, they wouldn’t be offering anything at all.
Mexico has a lot to lose if border security is tightened. Mexicans in the U.S. currently send home some $25 billion in remittances each year. Stopping the flow of cash would prove devastating to the Mexican economy, and Peña Nieto said he would work to “maintain the free flow of remittances,” according to Malaysia’s Sun Daily.
At his New York news conference yesterday, Trump doubled down on his pledge to build the wall sooner rather than later and to keep American jobs from heading to Mexico. While he was speaking, the value of the Mexican peso plunged to a new record low vs. the U.S. dollar, according to CNBC.
Peña Nieto warned that “at no time will we accept anything that goes against our dignity as a country, and our dignity as Mexicans,” Australia’s News.com reported.
Losing trade deals and $25 billion a year sounds fairly undignified. Mexico has some tough decisions to make. No doubt Trump will accept their eventual capitulation with grace and, yes, dignity.
Between remittances, guns and drug money, Mexico benefits handsomely from lax borders. If the border situation weren’t so profitable, they’d have been more cooperative while they had the chance.
Clearly, Mexico realizes that Trump has leverage on many fronts. They may be realizing that paying for the wall might be the least expensive way to go for them.