Mexico, U.S. endure complicated relationship

By Joselin Alcantara - Staff Reporter

The relationship between Mexico and the U.S. is very complicated, a Mexican consular official said here Wednesday. 

Luis Mingo works in the political and economic affairs office in the consulate of Mexico in Seattle and has degrees in international relations, public diplomacy and political and economic affairs.

"If I can leave you with one message it is that the history between Mexico and the U.S. is much more complicated than the past 150 days," Mingo said.

Mingo's presentation focused on six main points: a brief overview of Mexico, short history of Mexico and U.S. relationship, the shift between Mexico and the U.S., where Mexico is going, what it means to be a Mexican diplomat in Washington State, and what the consulate does.

Mexico's size is equivalent to Germany, Spain, France and Sweden put together, Mingo said.

"Mexico gained independence in 1821 and the U.S. was the first country to recognize this," Mingo said.

However, the U.S. later pressured Mexico to give up about half of their country (California, New Mexico and Texas), Mingo said.

Mexico went from thinking of the U.S. as a bully, to a neighbor, to a partner, Mingo said. 

In the '80s and '90s Mexico decided to start sending product into the U.S. instead of people, and this was the big shift between their relationship and presented a new way to work with the U.S., Mingo said.

"Every year about $480 billion are traded with Mexico and the U.S.," Mingo said.

However, the U.S. has a bad trade deficit with Mexico but the level of exports between both Mexico into the U.S. and the U.S. into Mexico has increased, Mingo said. 

"So this situation with both parties can win, without discussing who wins more and who wins less, it's about win, win, win," Mingo said.

"The way we address the situations, such as the war on drugs, is jointly not separately," Mingo said.

When borders are opened, it brings good and the bad and this is when the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. needs to become stronger instead of trying to beat each other, Mingo said.

"Mexico has the biggest consulate network of any country in this country. We have 50 consulates in the U.S.," Mingo said.

The consulate in Seattle takes care of Washington, Alaska and Northern Idaho and the consulate is divided into four sections: protection, general, community and culture, Mingo said.

General section takes care of passports, visas and registering houses and children in Mexico, the protection helps those who are in jails and need help with their documentation status, Mingo said.

"Whenever you hear news about Trump building a wall, NATO taking jobs, go a bit deeper, think about from the Mexican perspective, think about from your perspective as living in a very diverse and rich community. How does this affect us?," Mingo said.  

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