Is Trump Using a Travel Warning For NAFTA Renegotiation?
Recent travel advisories from the US warning Americans not to travel to Mexico have people questioning the motive. Journalist Andres Oppenheimer’s recent editorial in the Miami Herald discusses the recent travel warning which now includes Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur, where popular tourist destinations Cancún and Los Cabos are located, stating that this warning should not be taken too seriously.
Oppenheimer wrote, “The so-called travel warning of the US Department of State should not be taken too seriously since the level of crime in some North American cities is much higher than that of Cancun or Playa del Carmen.”
“Compared to some cities in the United States, or deaths from recent shootings in the United States, these Mexican resorts seem like safe havens.”
“No place is totally safe, including any big city in the United States or any small town where a psychopath armed with a semi-automatic weapon easily accessible can knock down dozens of people,”
Christopher Woody, a reporter and editor at Business Insider wrote in a recent article, “And for some in Mexico, the timing — coming amid talks between Mexico, the US, and Canada about the NAFTA trade agreement — is conspicuous.”
Tourism Secretary, Enrique de la Madrid told El Universal that he could not rule out the possibility that the updated travel warning was designed to pressure Mexico in the lead-up to the next round of NAFTA talks. Consider that Donald Trump calls NAFTA “one of the worst deals that anybody in history has ever entered into” and has said the US would “probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point”.
Americans who live, invest and retire in Mexico state they feel safer living in Mexico than they did in their hometown and have no desire to return to the US.
It is also interesting to add that many foreign countries have issued a travel warning for the US, the warnings for travelers focus on mass shootings, anti-Muslim and anti LGBT attitudes, police violence and the Zika virus. These travel warnings come from United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.
Federal government statistics show that tourist numbers have continued to grow despite the new travel warning. Tour companies have not experienced any cancellations or slow down.
It is expected that Americans will continue to visit Mexico because it is an easily accessible and affordable sun and sand destination. It is hard to ignore turquoise seas and white sand beaches when getting here is so easy. There are a number of daily flights between the US and Mexico, topped off with a great exchange on the US dollar. It is a cheap vacation in the sun.
Tourists are safe in Quintana Roo, but as in any other city you should always beware of your surroundings; do not walk home alone late at night, avoid drinking too much and do not attempt to buy drugs. Simple precautions you should take in any city around the world.
Enrique De la Madrid, the Federal Tourism Secretary stated that “the Mexican government is focused on combating insecurity at the country’s tourist destinations, and sees the US warning as an extra incentive to improve.”