The jump occurred as U.S. trade with Mexico has increased and trade with China has decreased. Mexico recently passed China and Canada as the U.S.’s top trading partner.
Through the first four months of 2019, $203 billion flowed between the U.S. and Mexico — a 3.5 percent increase from the first four months of 2018. Meanwhile, trade with China during January through April of this year decreased by almost 17 percent from the same time frame in 2018.
Many consider President Trump’s tariff dispute with China to be a driving factor of this trend. As goods cost more, fewer consumers decide to purchase at the same rate.
During the same time frame, trade with Mexico has flourished under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and looks to continue under the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) negotiated over the last couple of years.
The deal is waiting to be approved by Congress before it supplants NAFTA.
Coming at the tail end of this trend, and still unclear of the impact, is the larger dispute concerning the U.S.-Mexico border.
President Trump announced late last month that he would levy tariffs on Mexico if it did not secure its side of the border.
On June 7, the President declared victory on the issue when reports surfaced that Mexico had agreed to send 6,000 National Guard troops to secure its southern border with Guatemala. A subsequent New York Times report stated that Mexico had agreed to the border security commitment in March, well before President Trump proposed the tariffs.
The President disputed this report.
It is unclear whether Mexican troops have yet been fully deployed on the Guatemala border, but Mexico says it is committed to securing it.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.