President Donald Trump has made a plethora of allegations against Mexico with his tweets, blaming the US’s neighbor for a wide range of stateside problems, including immigration and job loss, but are any of them actually factual?
One of his tweets alleges that “Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA”, the North American Free Trade Agreement — while free trade did boost Mexico’s manufacturing industry, it actually gutted a large number of its farming towns.
Mexico lost more than 900,000 farming jobs in the first decade of the agreement, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The country is the top export destination for a long list of US-grown products, including beef, rice, soybean meal, corn sweeteners, and apples.
Over the past decade, US corn exports to Mexico quadrupled while Mexican corn prices fell 66%. In 1995, the year after NAFTA went into effect, US corn exports to Mexico were US$391 million. In 2015, American corn farmers sent US$2.4 billion south of the border, according to US Agriculture Department data.
Trump has long been of a belief that NAFTA is responsible for the reduction in blue-collar jobs in US industrial belts, but studies suggest otherwise.
US manufacturers have long been automating their processes in the face of growing competition from China. Millions of US factory jobs were taken over by robots and machines between 2000 and 2010, according to a study by Ball State University.
Another allegation by Trump is that Mexico is doing nothing to stem the flow of immigrants heading for the US. Mexican authorities apprehended more than 82,000 Central Americans last year. Between October 2014 and May 2015, Mexico detained more Central American migrants than the US Border Patrol.
In any case, it’s clear that today more Mexicans are leaving than coming to the US.