The US has joined the fight against Mexico and has sent two warships to the southern Pacific to bolster an anti-piracy operation.
The move is the latest sign that the Trump administration is not going to give up its pursuit of Mexico’s bid to block the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The pact has been negotiated by President Donald Trump’s administration but it has not been ratified by Congress.
In late November, the Trump-led Congress voted to move the US to formally reject the pact, but this decision has not yet been made public.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in January that “all options are on the table” in a bid to stop the pact.
Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports, saying the trade deal will lead to massive job losses.
Tillerson has said that US companies are committed to protecting US jobs, and the US and Mexico have signed trade deals worth $US1.4 trillion in trade in goods and services since NAFTA was signed in 1994.
The pact is the largest in world trade, with about 85% of the world’s total exports going to the US.
Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Eduardo Castro, said the US government’s move was “provocative” and said that the United Nations will hold a full investigation into the matter.
“The US government has not acted in good faith in pursuing a diplomatic solution, as it should, and it will not succeed in pursuing that goal,” Castro told reporters in Mexico City.
Castro said the “immediate and legitimate concerns” of Mexicans were the US’s “imminent action to undermine the territorial integrity of our neighbour and threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Mexico.
In his first remarks since he took office, Trump threatened to cancel the TPP and called on other countries to do the same.
“We’re going to renegotiate it, we’re going in the other direction, and I don’t think anybody’s going to get in a better position,” he said in November.
US trade lawyer John Deere has said the Trump Administration has “not even been able to find the words to adequately respond” to Mexican protests.
He added that Trump’s “precise and unambiguous” words were “a very, very strong warning to the Mexicans to stop their protest and take the deal and do what they want to do”.
The US’s trade representative, Michael Froman, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, that the administration was “looking at options to strengthen enforcement mechanisms and to improve enforcement mechanisms.”
He added: “We will continue to work with our friends and allies in Mexico, including our allies in the United Kingdom and our partners in the European Union, to enhance the effectiveness of enforcement mechanisms to protect American jobs, to ensure that our businesses are protected and that American workers are protected.”
Mexico’s trade minister, Rafael Ramirez, has said he has no plans to resign, but that he has lost faith in the Trump presidency.
“He is a president who doesn’t care about the people, who doesn.
He doesn’t give a damn about us,” Ramirez told the Associated Press news agency.
“I’m not going anywhere.
If he doesn`t listen to us, then he won`t be able to solve the problem of Mexico.”