Trump vs Mexico: Where does Peru stand?

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Agnes Rivera

Will Latin American countries stand together as the US President practices protectionism?

Formed in 2011, the Pacific Alliance is a trade bloc of Latin American countries that include Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. But in a time when an economic powerhouse like the US sees its president take a stand against foreign business, workers, and, in general, foreigners, will a similar division strike other countries?

Trump not only continues to pursue extending a wall between the US and Mexico, but says he will have the Latin American country pay for it. He has also threatened to tax imports from Mexico, despite the fact that in 2015 Mexico ranked the third global supplier to the States.

According to a report from Reuters, Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) was one of the first leaders of a country typically considered a US ally to express his concern and disapproval regarding Trump's actions.

“Right now one of us is facing serious difficulties that are not of its own making,” said PPK, while on an official visit to his Colombian counterpart. “We have to stand together on our ideals, on global trade which has done us so much good.”

The president did not shy away from the realities however, as he continued to comment that living in a globalized world is a game of give and take.

“Of course there are costs to global trade, of course there are job losses, but it’s also clear that the benefits are bigger.”

Before embarking on a political career in Peru, PPK, a graduate from Princeton University, spent many years in the US, working for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

For his part, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos noted that now is the time to 'œjoin the call of countries that adhere to the principles that have been so good for the world: free trade, respect for treaties… multilateral solutions.”

What do you think readers: will Trump’s anti-Mexico stance divide Latin America?

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Agnes Rivera

A U.S. native plucked from the green surroundings of her home state of Oregon, Agnes Rivera has been living in Lima, Peru, fulfilling various occupations such as teaching, translating, and journalism. While indoors she uses her time creatively to build "recycled art" and read fiction, she is quick to use any excuse to be outdoors, balancing her inner home-body lifestyle with an adventurous spirit to explore all that Peru has to offer.

Discussion5 Comments

  1. Before judging Trump and his actions one must look at things from the perspective of the USA as well as from a southern neighbors point of view. Having an emotional response is not a good place to start from, one must ask, “Why is Trump and the American people so upset and wanting a way of keeping illegals out” (which it won’t by the way).

    Are illegals causing a fair amount of crime (As if crossing the border without papers wasn’t enough), are they a burden to the tax payers who must flip the bill for educating their children , providing health care to the entire family when needed, (now multiply that family by millions).

    Now ask yourself if things were reversed how happy would you be flipping the bill, competing for employment on a job that you have to pay taxes on and the illegal does not. Add the fact that illegals drive (often) and if they have an accident they have no insurance so you pay for something that wasn’t your fault.

    Should the USA have a better or more open immigration policy, perhaps they should, but by doing so isn’t that also taking those that want to work most away from the very places that need their type most? Maybe it’s time for our southern neighbors to back small businesses more so people don’t want to leave to make a living, I’m sure no one ever wants to leave home, miss his/her children and way of life just to make a few dollars.

  2. Illegal entries to the United States are now approaching a very low level. If these aliens do not continue to enter the country, the US will face several problems. First, and this one is already being felt…the crops will rot in the fields. Native americans will not do this kind of work. Second, most menial jobs will not be filled, i.e. janitors, maintenance workers, etc. Third, and this one is perhaps the most important, themean and median ages in the US will continue to climb, putting severe strain on services for senior citizens, i.e., bankrupting social security and medicare. The only realistic options for the US are to find a way to open the doors and allow more to enter legally and to find a way to legalize those that are already in the country.

    To imply that the US taxpayer foots the bill for the illegal immigrant is just factually wrong. The illegal immigrant is a taxpayer. The illegal immigrant pays sales taxes, in most cases social security contributions, use taxes, and a variety of others as well. They may not be paying as much as legals, but probably are not far behind.

    More important than the economic issues are the social and political issues that are exposed by Trump´s draconian policies regarding immigrants. These policies reflect 1) racism, 2) lack of concern for the family unit, and 3) a continued militarization of the civilian police forces. The US will ultimately change the direction in which it is going. However, millions of people will suffer in the process.

    David raises the question of, should the countries south of the US do more to stem the flow by supporting the development of small businesses. Perhaps they should. And maybe they will, in some cases. However, those arriving from Central America are usually no longer economic refugees. They are political and social refugees. This is particularly true of those arriving from south of Mexico. They are fleeing the corruption of their governments and impressment into the gangs that control their towns and regions. The likelihood that these same corrupt governments will clean up the gangs is very slim. Thus, I can only conclude that while the support of small business will not hurt the situation, it will not get to the basic causes of political and social displacement.

  3. Augusto Ruiz de Castilla

    Illegal immigration is simply wrong and unacceptable. The US has the right to enforce immigration laws just like any other country in the world, Mexico in particular.
    Opening our borders to any one who needs some type of help is not a sustainable solution, We don’t have the means to support that kind of immigration. Over populating our country with illegal immigrants will only bring chaos. It’s just as if somebody gets inside your house and decides to camp in your backyard because he is homeless. Can you accept that? Will you risk your family to such a presence?
    The first obligation of a government is to protect their own citizens, with that in mind immigration laws are made to make sure those accepted as immigrants are going to be contributors to the progress and prosperity of the country. There are millions around the world patiently waiting for that opportunity. I had two wait for more than a year to be admitted. Why do illegal immigrants should have the privilege to bypass the law?
    We do need foreign people to take care of farm work, that’s true, but that can be accomplished with a special program to allow temporary residence to those willing to accept and respect the rules. That has been implemented in the past, why not now?
    It is a fact that illegals abuse the system. It’s well known that many pregnant women enter the country just to give birth and immediately ask for government support, that is taxpayers money.
    The lack of enforcing immigration laws in the US is what has created the problem we have today. The Amnesty that Reagan gave had an encouraging effect and that’s why we have 11 millions of illegals today. The worst is that some politicians act as defenders of illegals just because they want to capture the Latino votes, that’s all they care for. They put their political ambitions before compliance with law and legality.
    It’s not true that Trump is anti-immigrant, he is against illegal immigration and on that he has the support of the majority of Americans, that’s why he was elected. Those who deserve to be accepted as residents of the US will always be welcome to join us to keep working for the prosperity of this great country. But if you jump the fence you will have to accept the consequences. Just as in any other country in the world.

  4. Richard LaFleshe

    I agree with Agusto.What I also would like to point out is Living in Peru”s obvious bias on the side of Mexico.Note the unflattering picture of Trump and not one word in the article pointing to positives in Trumps positions.
    Also ,since when is a country doing wrong when it tries to prevent Illegal immigration?

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