China and the New Triangular Relationships in the Americas: China and the Future of US-Mexico Relations

Morelia, Mexico. Photo by Jazael Melgoza via Unsplash.

The re-emergence of China in the last part of the 20th century is having multiple impacts on a global scale. There has been increasing literature on the domestic impacts of China’s rise and on its role in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, there have been few analyses or attempts at understanding how China’s new status is affecting bilateral relationships elsewhere.

A book, co-authored by the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miami, the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California Berkeley and the Centro de Estudios China-México at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México studies the triangular relationship between Mexico, the United States and China. The authors look specifically at how China’s increasing presence in Latin America and the Caribbean is affecting the historical and dynamic relationship between Mexico and the United States (US).

The first chapter, written by Kevin P. Gallagher and Enrique Dussel Peters, explores China’s economic effects on the US-Mexico trade relationship. The chapter analyzes the extent to which China’s rise has posed a threat to US-Mexico trade relations and NAFTA. The authors find that China has indeed integrated itself into North America and that its rapidly developing trade relationship with both Mexico and the US has had significant effects on each country’s respective trade dynamics.

The book discusses several topics related to China’s impact on the economic and political relationship between Mexico and the US. The authors discuss the extent to which China is affecting bilateral trade, the triangular trade relationship, exports and more. The social impact is also studied, examining perceptions of the “Chinese threat,” migration, trade, investments, regional security and the implications of the triangular relationship for Mexico and the United States. Overall, the book provides an interesting contribution to the concept of the triangular relationship and promotes a more in-depth and detailed analysis in the future regarding the characteristics of and potential benefits and conflicts within the US-Mexico-China relationship.

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