May 18, 2017 07:52 AM EDT
Ever since President Donald Trump declared that he would build a wall between the United States and Mexico as well as change the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the relationship between the two neighboring countries experienced a major shift. An MIT public forum, however, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan provided some insights regarding the future of U.S. - Mexico relations.
Speaking in front of an audience of around 150, the former ambassador described the present relationship between the United States and Mexico as "far out of alignment" like a "fundamental tectonic shift."
He gave his audience a brief lesson in history saying this kind of relationship between the two countries last existed during the Cold War when they found themselves on opposite sides on the plight of Central America.
Despite this tension, the United States and Mexico have conducted trade with each other every day worth $1.4 billion. More so, this trade relation is the backbone of more than 6 million jobs in the U.S. However, Sarukhan said that instead of letting tension get in the way, he suggested the two nations can use this to make better policies that will benefit both of them. He also suggested that Mexico should take a more proactive stance to see more improvements in the relationship.
He then used NAFTA as an example saying that it is possible to include Canada to help update the treaty. Moreover, they could also use the discussion to update the need to build new infrastructure, such as the cross-border railroad.
With regards to the border wall, especially in the issue of immigration, Sarukhan said that Mexico should help "set its joint agenda with the United States" rather than just responding to it.
Meanwhile, in another news, President Trump's border wall is slowly becoming a reality as he requested to start the construction in his proposed federal budget. The wall might not look like what he envisioned it to be but it is still moving forward.
© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.