Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peña Nieto and the U.S.

Enrique Peña Nieto is meeting with President Obama and others today, but there's really not much "new" in that news. He'll mention immigration, security, blah, blah, and blah.

A more interesting question is what type of Mexico he's leading, and what his election means. For that I recommend the Foreign Affairs article by Héctor Aguilar Camín and Jorge Castañeda. Their basic view is that Peña will continue reforms--health care, tax reform, oil, among others--and the PRI will work with the PAN. It's a rather more optimistic view than you typically see.

The vast majority of Mexicans now agree that the only way politicians should get and keep power is through the ballot box and that the clamor for greater accountability and less corruption is legitimate. They believe that protecting human rights, adhering to the rule of law, and ending the culture of impunity are nonnegotiable goals. They demand due process rights and greater security, and they think poverty and social inequality must be reduced, along with the influence of Mexico's powerful monopolies and oligopolies. Yet they also reject any macroeconomic policy associated with large public deficits and consider the advantages of globalization, free trade, and economic integration with the rest of North America greater than the drawbacks. 

What goes within Mexico is more important than state visits. On immigration, for example, reform in the United States is critical but so is reform that provides employment. One point that Castañeda does not make is that NAFTA has been responsible for quite a lot of illegal immigration. Reforms within Mexico cannot just liberalize the economy without anticipating the effect on labor and, by extension, on U.S.-Mexican relations.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP