There’s much more at stake in Trump’s blowup with Mexico than a wall

mcclatchy dcThe abrupt cancellation of what was to have been Donald Trump’s second meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto puts at risk one the U.S.’s most important international relationships.

The immediate cause for the cancellation was Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for a wall along the U.S. southern border. But a slide in U.S.-Mexico relations could affect far more than Trump’s promised barrier.

The U.S. and Mexico are partners in a variety of cross-border cooperative agreements, including a multibillion-dollar war to curb drug trafficking that at one time had U.S. intelligence officers working with Mexican authorities. Trump’s continued criticism of Mexico threatens to return U.S.-Mexico relations to the frosty state they were in the last century.

Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s former ambassador to China, said the breach was specifically about payment for the wall. It’s not about Trump’s desire to renegotiate NAFTA, deport more people or even the wall itself. Mexicans can understand the reasoning, but Guarjardo said expecting Mexico to pay for the wall was insulting. …

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