BSU political professor on US, Mexico relations: 'It's an unprecedented turn'

The relationship between Mexico and the U.S. is complicated. (File Photo)

Mexico is America's third-largest trading partner with more than $500 billion in goods traded annually, which helps support 1.1 million American jobs. But historically, Mexico and the United States have had their complications.

"Keep in mind that Mexico lost half of its territory in 1846-48 U.S.-Mexican War," said Biran Wampler. "United States has invaded Mexican militarily at least once, so there's a conflictual relationship."

Wampler, a political science professor at Boise State University, says in recent history, this is an unprecedented turn.

"Because the mexican government is in a much weaker position and they seek to sort of maintain good relations with the united states."

He says the U.S. relies on Mexico for sources of low-income labor and trade.

"Idaho agriculture depends on Mexican labor - Mexican-American labor," Wampler said.

The sustainablity of rural Mexico relies on workers in the United States sending money back to their families in Mexico. The country also depends on U.S. dollars in tourism and oil.

Wampler says that's part of the reason the United States has the upper hand.

"If we were to get in a trade war and it had the possibility of affecting tourism and affecting remittances Mexico would need to switch its position to be more amendable to these demands coming from Trump administration."

The professor believes Trump has been floating a lot of ideas on how to get things done in order to see which have the most leverage.

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