US and Mexico: friends or foes?

US and Mexico: friends or foes?
Kevin Tiongson | Chronicle

The Trump administration has placed U.S.-Mexican relations in a precarious state, noted panelists at a recent discussion hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

“What [Donald Trump’s] campaign and the first month of [his] administration has done is [throw the relationship] up in the air,” said Arturo Sarukhan, panelist and former Mexican ambassador to the U.S.

The council, a nonpartisan organization, hosted a March 6 open forum at 130 E. Randolph St. to discuss the uncertain future of relations between the two countries as the Trump administration continues to characterize Mexico as a trade rival and source of undocumented immigrants rather than as an ally and market for U.S. goods.

US and Mexico: friends or foes?
Arturo Sarukahn, former Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S., said Mexico was treated like an “electoral piñata” in the 2016 presidential election.

The two countries historically have had a strategic relationship to work cooperatively to solve common problems in a way that was mutually beneficial for well-being, security and prosperity, according to Sarukhan.

Trump’s promise to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border has “poisoned” public perceptions on both sides of the border after Mexico was treated like an “electoral piñata” in the 2016 election, he added.

Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, said trust between neighboring nations is the fundamental currency of politics. The Obama administration had a relationship with Mexico developed on trust, and the current political…