Evolving US policy toward Mexico is a curious sideshow of the new political elite. One reason is that the rambling, sky-high fences that separate the two countries work as well as any brick-and-mortar barrier. The wall concept will likely be kicked down the road for years, although there may be a gratuitous section built to validate campaign rhetoric. Budget constraints subvert the idea. A remittance tax on Mexicans alone is federal discrimination. Reshaping the trade framework will take years; Mexico City and Ottawa will stall the process. The danger is that Mexico collapses into recession. At the same time, US industry is upended from failed supply and assembly arrangements. Those networks have been carefully engineered since the current trade regime took effect in 1994. Economic reality will check political bluster. ■
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