Showing Americans they need us
President Trump loves to say that the U.S. doesn’t need Mexico, said Leonardo Curzio, but at least some Americans know that’s not true. When Trump threatened recently to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods—saying the tariffs would increase 5 percent a month until Mexico stopped the flow of Central American migrants across the U.S. border—our American friends came to our aid. Mexican diplomats were able to draw on “a network of allies in the political, business, and intellectual sectors” to lobby the White House to backtrack. In the end, Trump dropped his threat—at least for now. So the U.S. elite knows our value. But what about ordinary American voters? A typical Kansas housewife likely doesn’t realize she relies on Mexican goods. She probably doesn’t know that the “phone she uses, the screen on which she watches Fox News tirades against Mexico, and the SUV she drives her kids to school in” were all made in Mexico. The Mexican government should sponsor a PR program to “boost Mexico’s image” and educate Americans about the importance of their southern neighbor, that we are a crucial partner and not just a source of problems. If we “win the hearts of the people,” we can weather whatever the Trump administration throws at us.