MEXICO CITY: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador heads to Washington on Wednesday (Jul eight) to speak commerce with Donald Trump, in opposition to the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and the US chief’s bid for re-election.
Will probably be Lopez Obrador’s first international go to after 18 months within the job and can see him meet a president identified for his anti-Mexico rhetoric.
It’s a pragmatic transfer to go to Trump, a person who described Mexicans as “rapists” and bringing “medication” and “crime” throughout his profitable 2016 election marketing campaign and who has vowed to construct a wall throughout the southern US border to maintain such individuals out.
“I need to keep good relations with america, that is what fits us,” Lopez Obrador, who has confronted criticism over the go to, stated on Tuesday.
Lopez Obrador, broadly identified by his initials AMLO, beforehand stated the primary goal of the go to was to kick-start the brand new North American commerce deal that got here into drive on Jul 1, in addition to to thank Trump for supplying gear to struggle the coronavirus.
“It isn’t shocking that AMLO’s first international journey as president is to the White Home,” Michael Shifter, director of the Inter-American Dialogue think-tank, instructed AFP.
“His coverage in direction of the US below Trump has been … to keep away from any battle.”
The Mexican president is banking on the US-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA) serving to to pull his nation’s economic system out of the eight.eight per cent contraction anticipated this 12 months as a result of pandemic, which has left greater than 30,000 useless in Mexico.
“WALKING A TIGHTROPE”
However there’s extra to this go to than simply commerce.
It comes simply 4 months forward of Trump’s bid for re-election, and a few Latino Democratic legislators have known as on the US president to cancel, saying it “politicizes” bilateral relations.
Nevertheless, the go to goes forward, and the White Home stated the 2 presidents would meet as a part of their “continued partnership on commerce, well being, and different points central to regional prosperity and safety.”
It added that the brand new deal — signed at Trump’s insistence as he wished to ditch the earlier settlement, generally known as NAFTA — would “guarantee North America continues strengthening its financial ties whereas working to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”
Lopez Obrador has dismissed any notion that his go to may assist Trump, though he has dominated out assembly with the Republican president’s Democratic rival Joe Biden.
“It’s best for our individuals … to strengthen the industrial financial relationship, whatever the partisan difficulty,” stated Lopez Obrador.
Some 12 million individuals born in Mexico reside within the US and one other 26 million are second or third technology immigrants with Mexican heritage. Between them they despatched US$36 billion in remittances to Mexico in 2019.
“It is an pointless go to that has quite a lot of dangers and no benefit for Mexico,” former Mexican international minister Jorge Castaneda instructed AFP.
He believes the go to will add nothing to the commerce deal however may give Trump an election increase at a time when his reputation has taken a knock over his dealing with of the coronavirus disaster that has killed 130,000 People and contaminated three million.
– ‘Asymmetrical relationship’ –
Castaneda believes various essential points won’t be mentioned.
These embrace the US sending asylum seekers to Mexico whereas they watch for selections on their case, the current deportation of Mexicans which have lived within the US for years and the cancelation of labor visas below the pretext of measures to struggle the pandemic.
Different points he says needs to be on the agenda embrace the socioeconomic injury of border journey restrictions as a result of coronavirus on individuals dwelling both facet of the frontier, and the trafficking of medication and arms.
“Proper now Trump is completely devoted to his re-election, to the pandemic and the economic system… it does not appear very favorable,” Castaneda added.
For worldwide relations professional Hernan Gomez, the assembly will merely assist Trump “reinforce his narrative that he succeeded in his marketing campaign guarantees” to finish NAFTA, which he had known as the worst deal ever signed.
Gomez believes there was “very sturdy strain from Trump to do issues on his phrases,” including that, in any case, it is “a really asymmetrical relationship.”