It’s a sad truth that when Mexico chooses a leader, few Americans could care less which party they belong to, what political viewpoints they represent or how this might impact their lives.
Such is the imbalance between the two nations’ economies that the mere choice of a U.S. president with a previously advertized anti-Mexican agenda can quickly plunge this country into financial and social turmoil.
Much like on the night of June 23, when the first returns from British referendum voters showed that Brexit was a real possibility, money markets reacted savagely when the vote count on Tuesday night suggested Donald Trump’s fortunes to be soaring. As expected, the peso was the major casualty, falling more than 13 percent to 20.70 to the U.S. dollar in trading on Asian markets that evening – its biggest collapse since the 1994-95 “Tequila Crisis.”
Although Mexico’s currency rallied slightly Wednesday, the damage continued Thursday, with the peso slumping to 20.64 by the end of the day.
Analysts expect the volatility to continue until Trump provides some degree of clarity on his intentions regarding trade with Mexico (some forecasts contemplate a year-end rate of around 22 to the dollar). The unease centers mostly on Trump’s promise to renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement – “the worst trade deal in the history of our country,” he called it – and slap punitive tariffs on products imported by U.S. companies that have moved or outsourced to Mexico.