Mexico is America's third largest trading partner. The United States last year bought $60 billion more from Mexico than it sold.
On top of that, Mexicans in America -- both legal and illegal -- sent home $25 billion in what are called remittances. How much of this is welfare money (which includes food stamps and other handouts) is unknown.
Between trade and remittances, doing business with the United States represents one-quarter of the Mexican economy.
Mexico represents 1.4% of the U.S. economy.
From this bad bargaining position, Guajardo took an odd stance as the United States, Canada, and Mexico prepare to re-negotiate NAFTA.
During the US election campaign, Trump vowed to make Mexico pay for a massive border wall and threatened to finance it by tapping into the $25 billion in remittances that Mexican migrants sent back home last year.
"There are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start," Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told the Televisa network as he prepares to meet with US officials in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday.
Asked whether the Mexican delegation would walk away from the negotiating table if the wall and remittances are an issue, Guajardo said: "Absolutely."And AFP reported:
Some 80 percent of Mexico's exports go to the United States, a clear indicator of the country's dependence on the US market for its economic well being.
But Guajardo warned on Tuesday that Mexico was also willing to exit the 23-year-old agreement.
"If we're going for something that is less than what we have now, it doesn't make sense to stay in," Guajardo said.Adios, amigo.
That's all the Spanish I care to learn.
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