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Trump, Mexico, China and Russia

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


If a Trump administration seriously affects bilateral economic relations, Mexico could get support from China or Russia.

Both are major investors in extractive industries, in which Mexico is a major player.

Either might want a strategic partner in North America, just as the United States has allies in Europe, and in the South China Sea.

This would only happen if Mexicans elect the left, which seems remote.

Still, people in hard times might want new leaders.

When it comes to trade, no one knows how far a Trump administration might go.

But even a small cutback could have a big effect on Mexico, which sends nearly 80% of its exports to the United States.

For their part, China and Russia could be interested in compensating for a reduction in U.S.-Mexico business.

Russia is a leading producer of oil and natural gas

Mexico since last year has been looking for partners, who could help increase oil and gas production.

Meanwhile, China could invest in Mexican mining and manufacturing.

Or, in return for not making strategic investments 1,000 kilometers from Miami  Beach, China might get Washington to change its position regarding underwater resources in the South China Sea.

For the past few years, the United States has supported Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam, who reject China’s claims

Russia for its part has become an arms supplier to Nicaragua, including a donation earlier this year of 50 tanks.

Russia, which in addition is expanding its intelligence presence in Nicaragua, with an expanded embassy an anti-drug training center in Managua, has long dreamed of having a strategic presence in Latin America, just as the United has in Europe with NATO.

Before Mexico embraces China or Russia, many things would have to happen, including the left coming to power, which seems remote.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, for many years the best-known figure in the center-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD in Spanish), two years ago left to start the National Regeneration Movement.

Meanwhile, what’s left of the PRD is divided into several groups.

Still, Trump’s own election suggests that people who feel badly treated might want to try new leadership.