- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
Mexico Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens is nothing if not prepared. So he says, anyway.
Late Wednesday, Carstens announced on Mexican television, “If the adverse situation materializes, it’s foreseeable that the Mexican authorities respond in some way. It’s a contingency plan that we’re discussing with the finance ministry, we hope we don’t have to use it.” He didn’t say it directly, but it’s clear the adversity he was referring to is the potential election next week of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
It is completely clear why Carstens would want such a contingency plan. Trump has called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, threatened to build an impenetrable wall between the two nations, and regularly bemoans the loss of jobs to Mexico, where some of his own Trump Collection clothing is made.
What is less clear is what that plan might actually be. The United States is far and away Mexico’s most important trading partner, receiving over 81 percent of Mexican exports. (The next highest Mexican importer, Canada, takes less than 3 percent).
The United States spends billions of dollars every year to Mexico to fund anti-drug efforts –although those millions were cut some in 2015 due to frustrations over Mexico’s lack of progress in reaching human rights goals. Billions more have been spent by both sides to curb illegal immigration.
So in the spirit of being the good neighbor to the north, we offer five possible plans Carstens might consider in case of an extreme, off-the-wall, adverse, emergency situation.
- Move Mexico. Saw off the border and just float off into the sea.
- Demand all the gold back from Spain. If there were ever a time to be up in arms on the Aztecs’ behalf, this is it.
- Start exporting to Russia. Yes, Russia is one of the few places in the world that wants Trump to win. But can you imagine how tantalized Putin would be to trump America in trade by moving in on Mexico? Pretty tantalized!
- Charge every American who claims to be able to speak Spanish as a second language. Fifty-five percent of the quarter of adult Americans who speak a second language speak Spanish. How do you say “ca-ching” en Español?
- Encourage people who have immigrated to the United States from Mexico to register to vote. This plan has the added bonus of already being well underway.
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