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Special Report: America first: the challenge for Mexico (ISSN 17414474)

Mexico-US relations became notoriously tense in 2016 and 2017. The driving factor was Donald Trump’s successful bid, first for the Republican Party’s nomination in the 2016 presidential election campaign, and second, for the presidency itself, which saw him winning the November polls and moving into the White House on 8 January 2017. Right from the beginning of his campaign Trump differentiated himself from other candidates by adopting a series of positions that were widely perceived as being ‘anti-Mexican’. These are still early days in the Trump presidency. But he has already questioned the nature of existing bilateral ties between the two countries more substantively than any of his predecessors. For opponents of Trump’s policies there may now be a temptation to describe the ‘pre-Donald era’ as one of harmonious mutual self-interest and respect between the two countries, perhaps even portraying it as a golden age of cross-border understanding. This is a mistake: before Trump, bilateral relations were complex and undoubtedly included occasionally sharp points of difference and controversy.

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