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President Donald Trump has dramatically increased tension and is further dividing the relationship between Mexico and the United States. Disputes concerning the plans for a new border between the two countries is creating a sour partnership since Trump demands Mexico to pay for it.  Threatening to withdraw NAFTA, the president is distancing the economically beneficial alliance with personal prepositions only aiding the US at the expense of Mexico’s needs. Mexico is beginning to feel alienated and riots are beginning to form from citizens who feel offended regarding Trump’s attitude and remarks he made about them. He called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and that they are only bringing “crime”. His plans of building a “big beautiful wall” valued at eighteen billion dollars  and forcing Mexico to pay for it, is promoting unnecessary damage and will negatively impact trade/benefits in the near future. The US can not afford to fracture the critical ties they hold with Mexico since they are bonded by trade, drug/crime challenges and  a physical border. As chief economist, Michael Klein, clarified, “If you’re telling a country that we’re building a wall to keep you out and then you try and go to the negotiating table, you have to wonder, what kind of attitude are they going to bring to the table? A negotiation requires a level of trust between the two parties.” The action that needs to be taken, is increasing the amount of foreign aid by at least doubling the current amount in order to create safer borders and control immigration. The effect of increasing foreign aid will alleviate tension, strengthen the alliance, help fight corruption and drug organizations, and overall generate a flourishing economy. High Level Economic Dialogue      The  High Level Economic Dialogue stated by Mexico’s  President, Enrique Pena Nieto, and Barack Obama in 2013, works by combining both of the countries interests to assist each other to economically flourish, fabricate more job opportunities, and attempt to raise “global competitiveness”. “Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $525.1 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016”. 231 billion dollars in profit was made in 2016 and in imports, 317.6 million dollars profited Mexico. Accumulating the sum, a total of 579.7 billion is made in profits.  If the United States were to strain the partnership they have going on, they would lose millions in exports and more from imports. In the agricultural department, Mexico exports the most amount of produce to the US. From a variety of vegetables to several alcohols, the total amounts to 23 billion dollars. In exports sent to Mexico, the US gains 18 billion dollars in corn, beef, and dairy products. Other products such as machinery or vehicles generate 213 billion dollars. Although imports are higher than exports, the quantity of trading is rising every year. Thanks to NAFTA, the removal of tariff barriers between Canada, US, and Mexico, the amount of trading exceedingly expanding. Trump’s threat to withdraw NAFTA to temporarily benefit American workers, will cause long term issues with Mexico. The US can not afford to lose such a crucial exporter/importer to selfish interest, especially since an estimated five million jobs are generated from trading businesses. The purpose of high level economic dialogue is to bring connectivity and reinforce ties. The goals made in 2016 were to “promote competitiveness and connectivity”, “foster economic growth, productivity and innovation”, and “partner for regional and global leadership”. The ability to ease the connection between the two countries to smoothen the transportation of goods and other materials is significant to maximize profit. Promoting tourism will also cause positive economic changes for both partners. In 2016, the goals set for the year were met through HLED. The Cross Border Xpress was created to facilitate pedestrian crossing from certain bridges, port entries, and airports such as San Diego to Tijuana Airport. The development of a reference guide is in action to promote funding that will be directed towards infrastructure of the US border. Concerning energy, safer and more environmentally friendly practices resources are being used. “Three Memoranda of Understanding and two Letters of Intent, to promote sustainable and transparent development of energy resources and deepen cooperation on safety and environmental best practices and experiences related to offshore hydrocarbon resources”. In addition, commitment to reduce nuclear energy use and gas emissions are finalized through the Agreement for Cooperation Concerning the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. With reference to the Education sector, FOBESII negotiated and agreed to expedite student/teacher exchanges and enrollment between the Mexico and US. In regards to innovation, a national cluster map invented by Mexico to be able to identify certain businesses, people and organizations will make it easier for other businesses to find the right person to trade with. Furthermore, the promotion of transparency is a topic that is in the works. Plans for citizen involvement and fortifying governance through open procurement standards with OPG (Open Government Partnership) is also a relevant issue that is currently in operation. In the matters of global leadership, attempts to incorporate more energy resources such as natural gas into Central America is in Mexico’s plans to help spike their economic status. As previously stated, Mexico and the US share a intricate economic and physical relationship regarding the border, trade, immigration, and unity in global competition. US/ Mexico BorderBetween the years of 2010-2015, the US has provided Mexico every year with aid ranging from 215-718 million dollars to help fight corruption, drug cartels, human rights services, etc. In 2016, the US gave 181 million in total. It is a dramatic decrease that only resulted in a raise of illegal immigration in order to get away from the hardships of poverty and inability to provide for families. As immensely populated as Mexico is, it is in desperate need for financial stability and is impossible to be able to flourish with such little aid, not to mention the fact that the basis of poor financial state causes the overflow of immigrants. With 127.5 million people residing, 181 million dollars in aid is not nearly enough to cause a difference. As political science professor Mark Jones stated, “If we cut off aid to Mexico, we strengthen the drug cartels, we make our border region a lot more lawless place, and we make it easier for undocumented immigrants from Central America to reach the U.S.-Mexico border”. With an increase in foreign aid to assist in stabilizing their economy, job opportunities will reduce illegal immigration since the need for a higher income will not be an issue.One of Mexico’s largest issue is the amount of corruption between government officials. Organizations such as the Sinaloa Cartel only escalate in power and are able to exponentially grow with ease with the help of corrupted officials. Not to mention the money from such deals are mostly from US consumers from states such as Arizona, California and Texas. Up to 29 million dollars in profit is collected every year. A substantial percentage of firearms fabricated in the US are sold to crime organizations. More than 50 percent of foreign aid goes to suppressing the amount of crime, murders and drug trafficking in between the borders. The amount of US involvement assists with the capturing of drug lords such as  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the search for people who were killed/affected from trafficking drugs or dealing across the border.  An estimated 80,000 civilians have died from entanglement with cartels. With such a staggeringly high number of casualties, the time to take action has to happen immediately. Recently, Trump ordered for an expansion in the Border Patrol department, five thousand more agents and ten thousand more ICE agents. Some officers feel the need for more Customs and Border Protection rather than border patrol and ICE agents. The CBP statistics of their work last year recorded “over 444,000 pounds of illegal drugs, and over 96 million in illicit currency…and $2.2 trillion in imports through the ports.” The lack of officers in the CBP department are causing employees to be overworked. The efficiency of protecting borders could be augmented if the amount of employees would enlarge. Rather than increasing border patrol and ICE agents by the thousands, CBP officers should be the priority. Studies show when people work a great amount of overtime, the overall quality of their work diminishes. The polygraph is somewhat of a lie detector. Agents and officers take these tests in attempts to exploit chances or actions of corruption. The accuracy of the test is questionable since the rate of failure for applicants is high. In addition to adding more employees, a new form of testing the loyalty and lawfulness needs to be found. Lessening the corruption in agents can reduce the likeliness of drugs being smuggled through the border. Another issue prevalent in Trump’s plans is the innovation of the current border. He states the way Mexico will pay for the wall is through NAFTA. The use of trade revenue coming from revisions he hopes to make to the free trade agreement will indirectly pay for the wall. If Mexico does not agree to those terms he plans to remove the agreement all together. Improving the structure of the wall will not eliminate problems, but will force drug trades to be more creative when importing illegal drugs. Constructing an improved wall could aid in safer border crossing for tourism, exchange students, and trade but if both partners are not on board with the process, tensions could rise even higher. The budget needed to construct an innovative wall run in the billions. An approximate 15 billion dollars will be used to construct the 1000 mile wall. If tourists and trading agencies are aware the US and Mexico border is more secure, modern, and efficient, more people will want to cross the border. Tourism accumulates 220.1 billion dollars from all over the world. The purpose of assembling a fortified wall in efforts to separate the US and Mexico will not result favorably. Merida Initiative The existing partnership between US and Mexico not only stems from the 6000 mile long border, but the drug related and violence conflicts that was born near the border.  The Merida Initiative was first started to bring crime and drug violence down in attempts to create a safer environment. Mexico and the US agree that bringing down organizations that depend on drug smuggling, human trafficking, and violence for territories from cartels will cause economic development and bring down illegal immigration. The initiative is hopeful that the partnership will create better communities along with a lawful justice system. Corruption throughout government officials and lack of enforcement in certain polices forces only aids organizations to continue profiting off drug trades. Congress decided to implement programs and reforms to begin changes on how the court system and other legal processes operate. Adding courses in “criminal intelligence, professionalization, tactics and firearms, forensics, strategic analysis, and specialized training for anti-corruption, anti-gang, anti-trafficking in persons, anti-money laundering, and anti-kidnapping units.” Programs that will eliminate existing corruption among officials and policemen are official. The National Anticorruption System (NAS) serves to generate laws and systems to get rid of as much corruption as possible. If forms of corruption are found, the punishment and consequences are harsher than they would normally be. After decades of corruption in Mexico, it is safe to assume they can not take care of the issue on their own. Citizen involvement and transparency reforms could alleviate some of the shady actions that are money motivated. Informing and educating the public with common language so they are better acquainted with policies that affect them. The Merida Initiative plans to create booths so citizens who have been victimized know the actions and steps they need to take to gain justice. Including reforms and targeting the youth, who are inevitably more exposed and at risk for drug and human trafficking, should be a more concerning issue. Using technology to spread awareness and building communities to inform people of human rights is also an initiative topic.The tools and machinery provided from security at port entries or border checkpoints are now being upgraded to spot any contraband. To make the searches even easier, hundreds of more K9’s are sent to agencies and the Federal Police so they can be “trained in the detection of narcotics, weapons, explosives, ammunition, currency, and human remains”. Knowing the communication system is secure allows for investigations to go unnoticed and untapped. The interchange of data and information in order to devise a plan of uncovering corruption has to be tightly secure to ensure the safety of officers and the public. For example, much of the unlawful activities occur in prisons. Security guards are constantly bribed and their families threatened if they are not let free. The security in correctional facilities and maximum security prisons must take higher measures to secure safety of guards and the protection of their life. The ACA (American Correctional Facilities), works with Mexican Prisons to appropriately accredit them.   Furthermore, the incarceration of drug addicts is being seen as a health issue instead of a crime. The Drug Treatment Courts are specializing in considering the person’s mental state and if it comes into play if they are drug abusers. Five states in Mexico have incorporated these courts to give people fairer trials and not only viewing it from a “guilty or not guilty” stand point. Mexico’s initiative of allowing the possibilities of other factors playing a role in drug abuse a step in the right direction. Possible Policies   Mexico’s most crucial necessity is to deal with corruption. Although there is no immediate solution and will most likely be an extensive journey, combating corrupt officials is the first step in transforming the Mexican government. The basis of poverty stems from government officials involved in drug cartels and organizations who manage to gain as much profit in expense of the welfare of their citizens. Policies such as removing them from their positions and replacing them every so few years with the help of US foreign aid will certainly affect and minimize the possibility for corruption. Increasing the foreign aid amount back to the year of 2010 $700 million,  will also assist in humanitarian aid, anti-drug enforcement, human trafficking. The majority of the money should go towards the illegal activities that occur around the US/Mexico border. The double dealing politicians and officials ease smuggling with the use of money and power. Using the money from foreign aid and directing it towards better pay of DEA agents, ICE agents, and CBP officials so they do not feel the necessity to gain money from allowing cartel leaders to pass drugs. It is the US’s responsibility to take action in increasing the budget since a great majority of drug consumers come from states like Arizona and California. Not to mention the laws for selling firearms are too loose and must be more restrictive. The United States exports thousands of illegal weapons to Mexico, only facilitating violence on the streets. Forcing stricter gun laws and bringing attention to who is buying weapons should be taken under consideration when selling them. Diminishing fraud provides opportunities for money to be distributed to civilians and open up job opportunities.  The downside to raising the federal aid almost four times last year’s amount, is the probability that money might not go to where it needs to go. The solution to that issue is to send US supervisors to make sure the aid is residing in places in need. Along with supervision, requesting a progress report with physical evidence of improvement is also an option. If raising the support is unrealistic, at least doubling the aid to help battle corruption will lessen the ability to sneak drugs across the border. In conjunction to decreasing and preventing corruption, a portion of foreign aid should go towards humanitarian aid. Focusing on the youth of Mexico will decline the number of victims that are forced into trafficking and violence. Teenagers need to be protected and the creation of programs that prevent ties with cartels or violent actions. Equally as important is the education and medicine needed in many indigenous parts of Mexico. People are in dire need of medical machinery and access to medical care in indigenous areas. Educating the overall public will inform ordinary citizens what kind of policies their government is imposing on them. The overall focus is improving the life of Mexican citizens and strengthening the economic partnership through increasing foreign aid so it is directed towards combating fraud existing in the government and illegal activities around the border.


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