Mexico Trade

Last night we read a case study about the political and economic history of Mexico, a hybrid regime. After Mexican independence from Spain, Porfirio Diaz established a violent dictatorship, but the Mexican Revolution ended this regime.1 The Constitution of 1917 sought to prevent another dictatorship.1 There are two main parties in Mexico, the PRI (which was in power for most of the 1900s) and the PAN.1 Although the PRI allowed for many civil liberties, it has authoritarian tendencies. Throughout its history, the Mexican economy mainly consisted of oil monopolies (PEMEX) and agriculture.1 The country experienced consistent economic inequality, and after joining NAFTA, became dependent on imports.1

I read an article in The New York Times titled “Trudeau Sought Support From Mexico’s President on Nafta.” Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, recently reached out to Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador with regards to the NAFTA with the United States. Mexico and the United States have agreed to bilateral trade, excluding Canada because they did not agree to one of Trump’s prior trade demands.2

Why might Mexico be worried about losing a relationship with either Canada or the United States?

Mexico depends greatly on trade with both countries, and therefore must maintain positive relationships with both of them. If Mexico agrees with the United States and cuts off Canada in trade, it will lose main resources it depends on. If Mexico sides with Canada, it might lose many resources it attains from the United States, such as pork. Mexico needs both of these allies in order to help raise GDP, shrink levels of inequality, encourage neoliberalizm, and have more capacity as a strong state.


1 Patrick H. O’Neil, Karl Fields, Don Share, Cases in Comparative Politics: Sixth Edition (2018).

2 Alan Rappeport, Catherine Porter, Elisabeth Malkin, “Trudeau Sought Support From Mexico’s President on Nafta” The New York Times (September 29, 2018)

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