Lopez Obrador suggests deal with Trump: American support for jobs and development in Mexico, to reduce migration to US
July 20, 2020
Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke for half an hour on Monday with President Donald Trump, suggesting a deal to reduce US-bound migration in exchange for American assistance with economic development in Mexico.
“I proposed exploring a mutual agreement; development projects that would create jobs in Mexico and, by doing so, reduce migration and improve security,” tweeted the fiery Leftist.
“The tone was respectful and our teams will be holding talks.”
Mr Trump said that the strong-willed duo had “a good conversation,” adding: “I think the relationship will be a very good one.”
He said they discussed border security, trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).
When the veteran Mexican Left-winger lost the election to Felipe Calderon by less than a percentage point in 2006, and accused the government of electoral fraud, Mr Corbyn declared him the legitimate president. The pair spent part of their 2016 Christmas holiday together in Mexico, and in September Mr Lopez Obrador toured the House of Commons with the Labour leader.
Promising to combat corruption and drive down record crime rates, Mr Lopez Obrador captured 53 per cent of the vote, according to preliminary results – a historic victory for the party he created.
Voters decided in their millions to turn their backs on the two parties which have ruled Mexico for almost 100 years, and finally give him a chance – sending his supporters into a frenzy.
On Tuesday Mr Lopez Obrador will meet President Enrique Peña Nieto to begin the handover process, ahead of his Dec 1 inauguration. Top of the agenda will be free trade negotiations and reassessing the deal to build a new Mexico City airport.
He said he would seek to stay in a version of the North American Free Trade Agreement that was good for Mexico.
His platform includes promises to sell the presidential jet, slash his own salary by half, and turn the presidential palace into a cultural centre. He has campaigned with the pledge of doubling pensions for retirees, increasing scholarships for students, and boosting production and employment in the impoverished south.
How he will pay for this remains unclear – his team speak vaguely of corruption reductions freeing up -millions of dollars.
And he has been remarkably unspecific in his plan for dealing with Mr Trump, Nafta and the surging violence – only talking about rooting out the causes of organised crime, such as poverty and a lack of opportunities among the young, and floating a plan for an amnesty for cartel members.
Nevertheless, his message has resonated in a country exhausted by endless corruption scandals and a failure to reduce the incessant violence.
“Millions and millions are fed up with this regime of corruption and privilege, and decided to vote for a real change,” he said. “I’m going to do it."