By: Victor Hermosillo, Senator in Mexico.
Just a year ago when Trump pointed out Mexico as the cause of all the ills of the United States and questioned the convenience of NAFTA, the Mexican peso was immediately devalued, even if it was only a tweet. Just a few months ago when we talked about the persecution that would come against the Dreamers, in Mexico we reformed the General Law of Education to receive them in easy terms in our universities. Just when the New Yorker insisted we pay the wall, the media and political class in our country were mobilized to find the mechanisms to refuse to.
However, over time, society, politicians and markets have become accustomed to Donald Trump’s tweets, impulsivity, inconsistencies and radical nationalism, even if this drags the American Union into isolation from the international community.
Nationalism focused on criticism of free trade, having NAFTA at the center of his attacks, even when in mid-April, the US President would sign an executive order to get out of the trade agreement; he also refused to participate in the TPP and pressured major American automakers such as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to keep their production in the United States, and despite that, exports of cars made in Mexico grew 12%, a historical figure.
Trump did not stop there, because by executive order he restricted the entry of refugees from seven Arab nations, breaking with the agreement the United States had engaged with to give a life of opportunity to thousands of people fleeing war and repression.
From the beginning of his administration he entered into unnecessarily diplomatic conflicts, only with his tone and hostile behaviors like his already classic greeting of hand, something that was very uncomfortable with Prime Minister of Japan and Canada, without leaving aside the shameful encounter with Angela Merkel in the White House for the coldness with which she was received, especially when in front of all reporters present, Trump refused to shake hands with the German Chancellor.
If this were not enough, last June Donald Trump decided not to validate the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, whereby the world committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, leaving the United States wandering aimlessly in the International arena, forcing new leaders to spring forth such as Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.
Furthermore, the straw that broke the camel’s back, over the last high level meetings in which he has participated like the NATO, G8 and G20, Donald Trump has exhibited his little experience and his insecurities, from the diplomatic deface like pushing leaders, refusing to hang out with them and walking separately, refusing carrying the same pins, and distance himself in a positions that historically Americans defended.
Today, the United States allied nations, close, necessary or dependent on, distrust his leadership because it no longer represents a reliable and serious interlocutor for agreements to prosper; to this we can add nations confronted with America such as North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Russia – which today seem to be controlling everything from the inside instead of being in conflict with the White House – resulting in a gray scenario for the United States and for the world.
The reality is that no one can be optimistic as long as Donald Trump persists with these positions, because even if the ambitions of new leadership come to light in the next few years, they will not be able to reach the range and influence of a President of the United States; it is no coincidence that Merkel, Macron and Xi Jinping discuss the fate of security, commerce and environment behind the New Yorker.
For our region, it is important that social, political and business leaders engage in the renegotiation of NAFTA with the aim of taking steps forward and it could result in improvement of areas such as agriculture, education, innovation and certainties for investment on both sides of the border, since if there is No Leader in The United States, we must act for the benefit of our region.