The rupture of the free trade agreement with Mexico would have a devastating impact for the state of Texas, an economy that largely depends on what it trades with Mexico.
The president of the United States is so perfidious that he made his visit to the disaster zone of Corpus Christi a pre-campaign rally, rather than the visit of a statesman to a community wounded by a hurricane.
Donald Trump went – three days after the hurricane made landfall – to tell Texans how wonderful his government’s response to the emergency is and the fantastic assistance that he personally coordinated to support the victims.
It is clear that Texas is far from recovering from the emergency. What follows next is the rescue of the victims who face the health threat of stagnant water, and what lies ahead is a reconstruction that will cost billions of dollars.
That is where Texans are at the moment, and it is even possible that before the sun rises they may receive a new devastating blow, courtesy of that president who held so many rallies in that territory.
Now, more than ever, the North American Free Trade Agreement faces the risk of collapsing. Even more so than in January, when the fears of its termination caused the dollar to rise above 22 pesos; today the threat is real.
It is not so much what Trump says, but because his utterances represent feedback to his negotiating team, who had surely already informed the president of the United States that during the first round of negotiations neither Mexico nor Canada gave in and that therefore a breakdown is a real alternative.
The visit by Chancellor Luis Videgaray and the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, was less a routine visit than a defensive one that sought clarifications, and among those, definitions. Mexico is not a country fearful of terminating NAFTA, and they should make that perfectly clear.
One of the most convincing pieces of evidence that the Mexican government could be expecting the breach was offered by Secretary Guajardo in his meeting with PRI* legislators, whom he asked to be ready to react quickly in the development of laws to react to a breach.
It will be immediately necessary to protect foreign investments that will be left naked without NAFTA, for example.
But in the case of Texas, the breach of the free trade agreement with Mexico would have a devastating impact on an economy that depends to a great degree on its trade with Mexico.
Last year, trade between Mexico and Texas exceeded $174 billion and, to Trump's surprise, our country has a trade deficit with that state of more than $10 billion.
It is no wonder that one of the principal political groups opposed to President Trump’s disruptive plans is made up of business people, politicians, social groups and others in Texas.
So Trump could be about to deal a devastating commercial blow to a state that still has not recovered from the damage of a natural phenomenon.
*Editor's Note: PRI, or Institutional Revolutionary Party, is the ruling political party in Mexico.