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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mexico threatens to take your ball and go home

Assuming the reporter at Agence-France-Presse got the story right, Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal.

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.

From AFP:
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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  1. If you don't ante up, you aren't even in the game; and if you aren't in the game you don't even get an opportunity to look at your hand and fold when you see a bad hand. In this case maybe the best position for him is to stay away from the table. We are the ones with nothing to lose. He is the one who will lose something. His gamble is that nothing changes if he doesn't play. Problem is he already owes the bookie as well as the house. Just try getting out without paying up.

  2. Mexico needs to pick up a copy of "The Art of The Deal", or they're going to get Trumped real bad.

  3. I'm appalled by all these clueless Millenials having "destination weddings" in Mexico rather than the good ol' USA. We oughta impose a surtax on those biotches also. My son's wedding was at Mount Vernon. MAGA.

    1. If they want to go to Mexico and get butchered in a cartel shootout why should I care? It's called survival of the fittest, hun. Stupidity is not a character trait of the fittest.

  4. Maybe he thinks the Chinese can pick up the slack. I would miss all the fruits and veggies we get in the winter time from Mexico though. I would imagine that some South American countries might start to replace Mexico.

  5. I believe he's going to bet the farm on this...and lose it.

  6. Mexico needs to wake up really fast to the fact that we've replaced absolutely clueless chumps with a salesman who has negotiated more deals than they could imagine. we'll be nice about it, but we're going to work with Mexico only when there is something in it for us. The saps are gone, amigos, and it's a new ball game.

  7. Build the wall. Ship all illegal aliens from Mexico back to Mexico. Stop all imports from Mexico. Let them go their own way and we'll set up a betting pool for which date the next Mexican Revolution begins. - Elric

  8. Like picking a fight with the US over the annexation of Texas.

    It will hurt them more than it will hurt us.

    1. When all was said and done, we paid then a large sum of cash...Twice.

  9. I'm willing to bet the farm that what keeps the Mexican economy propped up is the underground economy, not the above ground one. The tax on the $25 B in remittances is probably peanuts compared to the massive flow of drug money into Mexico...something I'm sure Mexico's finance minister knows well but dares not mention in public. As for taxing the remittances, why not? Call it withholding if you wish, a move to ensure that US income taxes have been paid on that money as it was earned. How much of those remittances have been earned legally and how much illegally? Money from an illegal enterprise can be confiscated in full by the government, in accordance with civil and criminal forfeiture laws....and the owner of the money has to prove in court he deserves to get his money back. How do like them apples, Mexico?

  10. My advice to Trump is to make sure Mexico pays the import tax BEFORE those trucks cross the border, because if you don't , you will never see the money!

  11. In all honesty, mightn't Mexico just be taking a page out of the Art of the Deal playbook and expressing a willingness to walk away without arriving at a deal?

    This might be largely posturing on their part.

    - Mark S.

  12. Colorado Center for Immigration Studies ballparked that Mexican remittances from the US (like Don said, the whole ball of wax) eventually reach (one way or another) 150 million Mexican households...Adios if ya can.

    It's gonna be one of those rare times, essentially like an old girlfriend (or ex wife) trying to come back. You all know what to do, and so does Trump.