Mexico Foreign Policy
The country in a regional and international context
Until the change of government in 2000, Mexico’s foreign policy was determined by the so-called Doctrina Estrada, which forbade interference in the internal affairs of other countries and demanded the right of nations to self-determination. Mexico granted asylum to international refugees of various political origins.
The political relationship with the USA has always played a special role due to its geo-strategic location. On the one hand, Mexico must cooperate with its economically strong neighbor; on the other hand, its own sovereignty must be preserved. With the opening to the export-oriented economic system, the ties between the two countries intensified. 80% of Mexican exports go to the USA. More than 20 million Mexicans live in the neighboring country, where there are more than 50 consular posts.
According to mysteryaround, it goes without saying that Mexico is rooted in the Latin American cultural and linguistic community. However, its role as “big brother” in Latin America crumbled with the orientation to the north and the economic strength of South American countries such as Brazil and Chile. In the 1980’s, Mexico played a crucial role in resolving regional conflicts in Central America. Most recently it campaigned for the formation of the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y del Caribe (CELAC), which is a political forum for regional understanding.
The border between Mexico and the United States
The 3200 km long border between the USA and Mexico is partially protected by walls and fences, as well as by a “virtual fence”, which consists of a system of security cameras and motion detectors. In January 2009 the US Border Patrol reported that around 930 km of the border had been secured by walls, fences, etc. The first barriers of this type were built in 1994 to make illegal border crossings and drug trafficking more difficult. Since then, fewer people have tried to cross the border from Mexico to the United States illegally for a long time. This was evidenced by the U.S. Border Patrol arrests, which fell by almost 90% between 2000 and 2016. However, since 2018 that number has increased dramatically. The majority of illegal border crossings are made by migrants from Central America who are hoping for asylum in the USA. So-called caravans were formed in 2018, which illustrate the extent of Central American migration. From these, the migrants expected a safer journey through Mexico. The conditions on both the southern and northern Mexican borders are precarious due to the high number of people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador fleeing the violence in their countries. After threats of punitive tariffs from Donald Trump, Mexico is securing its border with Guatemala with military units.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, who has been in office since January 2017, already expressed the plan during his election campaign to build a continuous wall on the border between the United States and Mexico and to have Mexico pay for it. However, the Mexican government refuses. On January 25, 2017, President Trump signed a decree to build the wall, but it is still unclear how this project will be financed. Since Trump took office, only a few hundred of the promised 3,200 kilometers have been completed.
Relations between Mexico and Germany and the EU
Germany is Mexico’s most important partner in Europe. However, this relationship is not only of an economic nature, but is also based on a strong interest on both sides in political cooperation. While the relationships between Spaniards and Mexicans can sometimes be ambivalent due to historical ties, the partnership with Germany is highly valued. For Germany, Mexico is a strategic partner in the region, including as a bridge to Central and South America.
Memberships in international organizations
For more information on some of Mexico’s major international alliances and free trade agreements, see the links below:
USA and Canada
- Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) = NAFTA
- Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA)
- Sistema Económico Latinoamericano (SELA)
- Alianza del Pacífico
- Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC)
- Tratado de Libre Comercio México-Triángulo del Norte (TLCMTN)
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
- United Nations (UN)
- Acuerdo de Asociación Económica México-Japón (AAEMJ)
- Trade agreement with the EU
*) It should be noted that the statistics are rough estimates that only partially reflect reality. You can find detailed information on the development status at UNDP in the Human Development Report.
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