President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney wrestled for 90 minutes Monday night over key foreign policy issues — from China to Iran to Afghanistan to Israel. But they left out Mexico. Romney touched on the growing importance of the economies of South America, but both candidates failed to acknowledge the critical importance of the Mexican economy and the raging drug war there, which has taken more than 70,000 lives.
Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner. In 2011, trade between the two countries neared $500 billion and, despite the drug war violence, continues to grow.
According to a study by the Woodrow Wilson international Center for Scholars, six million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. The study estimates that one in every 24 American workers depends on U.S.-Mexico trade for their employment.
The two economies are so interconnected that Mexicans often say that when the U.S. gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia.
It was weird not to hear from Obama and Romney about just how they would grow bilateral relations with Mexico. It would have been illuminating to hear how the Mexican economy could further help the U.S. offset the growing economic power of China.
On this side of the border, drug trafficking is the main cause for most homicides in cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. The demand and supply of narcotics have turned Chicago neighborhoods into war zones.