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March 01, 2016

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Well they could decide that if things are going to become dicey for them they may as well make things dicey for the United States in turn in an eye-for-eye strategy (with the vain hope that this might cause Trump to reconsider his policies if "the Wall" turns out to fail). So:

1. Stop taking over border security for the US in regards to stemming the flow of Central American migrants (focus efforts instead on mitigating impact of returnees)

2. Turn a blind eye to Mexican drug smugglers attempts to get into the US (focus efforts instead on mitigating impact of returnees)

3. Just generally stop being supportive internationally

Thank you! More, please.

Regarding point (3): Americans (and many Mexicans!) don't realize just how generally supportive Mexico is of U.S. policy. It was silly for President Fox to pull out of the Rio Pact, but he was right that the pact was merely symbolic. Mexico is (or at least was, in what I hope doesn't become the pre-Trump era) married to the United States.

The problem with point (2) is that while there is evidence that Mexican counternarcotics efforts contributed to the explosion of violence, American efforts to tighten the border would have the same effect. Mexican authorities can't ignore fighting over drug routes. So I'm not sure that it's practical.

Point (1) would hit the United States where it hurts.

Well point 1 was where I was really thinking the greatest impact would be based on your previous post on whether reality would stop Donald Trump at the border. In this case Mexico would just be letting reality hit the Trump administration square in the face. An increase in Central American (and Mexican!) migrants would be the visible manifestation of this.

point 2 might be practical insofar as a cessation of counternarcotics efforts *might* lead to the strongest gangs prevailing in short order. This leads to a spike in violence followed by a drop in violence. I don't know if Mexico would go so far as to tacitly encourage the gangs to divide the spoils peacefully in return for just not going on an orgy of death, but....

For point 3 a good place to start would be at the United Nations and the OAS. But in the other organizations where Mexico and the US share membership (like the OECD, World Bank, IMF, FAO, BIS, IAEA, APEC and G20) the Mexicans could become unhelpful on issues ranging from Syria to Cuba (I'm not sure what Trump's position is on Cuba, but I doubt he would follow the same trajectory as the Obama administration).

More specifically, the issues of:

- Syria (for instance no longer recognizing the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people and defaulting to recognition of Assad),

- Russia (vocally opposing sanctions rather than just being quiet about it),

- Cuba (vocally supporting Cuba over the US in the OAS and UN),

- Iran (being more supportive of Iran's official position and criticizing the US position),

- China (being more open to Chinese deals and encouraging closer relations with China),

- Israel (being more critical of Israel),

- Colombia and Venezuela (being less supportive of Colombia and more supportive of Venezuela),

- economic cooperation (if Trump aims to sink NAFTA then why the hell not make things more difficult for American companies and individuals wishing to operate or continue operating in Mexico?)

- and energy (Mexico was ranked third in terms of total imports of petroleum and petroleum related products by the United States in 2014 and ranked fifth out of those top 5 countries in terms of net imports - being less cooperative without it actually hurting Mexico oil exports could be one way, as could halting cooperation on energy infrastructure insofar as it would not impact Mexico itself but only impact the United States)

could all be areas where Mexico being less supportive internationally could highlight that Trump has introduced problems into the US-Mexican marriage.

The word "marriage" is interesting. Mexico and the U.S. are more like secret lovers who share a three-unit condo. Mexico is a confirmed bachelor who has a deep love-hate relationship with his paramour. America, meanwhile, is cheating on her loveless special relationship while managing a gaggle of children, stepchildren and former European boyfriends. She tries to pretend her affair with Mexico isn't a thing except when she needs affection or the pipes break.

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