NAFTA Benefits More Than Just Trade, But It Needs to Be Changed

When Donald Trump makes good on his promise to rework or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - as his frequent tweets on the subject suggest he will - Mexico is expected to use the security cooperation between the two countries as a major bargaining chip.Trade between the U.S. and Mexico was worth $531 billion in 2015. And Mexico is Texas' number one export market, worth $92 million and making up 37 percent of the state's total exports.But security experts point out that NAFTA is about more than economics. The robust annual trade relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has helped foster equally robust security cooperation between the two countries in the form of the Merida Initiative, a multi-billion-dollar program aimed at improving the capacity of the Mexican security forces and reforming the country's justice system."We probably would not see as broad or as deep cooperation with Mexico on security issues if we didn't see such broad and deep economic cooperation," said David Shirk, an associate professor at the University of San Diego specializing in security along the U.S.-Mexico border.   Continue reading...

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