The Economist is just the latest entity to cry foul on the protectionist rhetoric coming out of the most liberal presidential candidates this year. The magazine editorializes:

Since it came into force in 1994, NAFTA has benefited all three economies, raising cross-border trade and investment. That applies especially to Mexico. Not by coincidence, since the signing of NAFTA Mexico has become a democracy and achieved economic stability. This has not halted the flow of migrants to the north. But their numbers would almost certainly have been greater without the agreement—or if its labour clauses were tougher. …

A Mexican minister who is a strong supporter of NAFTA and who has been dealing with Washington for the past two decades says that on a recent visit to the United States’ Congress he found an “almost xenophobic” mood of a kind that he had never before encountered.

That chimes with the frustrations of Colombia’s government, which having negotiated a free-trade agreement with the United States has found it blocked by the Democrats in Congress. The message from the Democratic campaign is that “America is an unreliable ally”, says a veteran Latin American diplomat who spent many years working closely with the United States’ government.