In a tweet on Monday, President Donald Trump threatened to make tighter Mexican immigration control a condition of a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal. This is despite the fact that representatives for Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are trying to finalize an updated agreement this week.
Trump had previously introduced the idea of tying NAFTA to Mexican immigration laws when the so-called immigrant ‘caravan’ travelling through Mexico made headlines earlier in April. Despite Trump’s rhetoric, immigration has not been a part of the formal negotiation talks, and those talks are progressing.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray sent his own tweet in which he stated that Mexican immigration policy is an internal matter and that it would be unacceptable to condition a new NAFTA deal on Mexico’s internal immigration policies.
VERDICT: A renegotiated trade deal should theoretically benefit all parties to the negotiations. That said, it is important President Trump does not act on the rhetoric of tying NAFTA to Mexico’s immigration policies. This deal would benefit the United States and improve already strong relations with Mexico and Canada. It would be foolish to threaten this deal with a condition of stricter immigration policies in Mexico.