(Newsweek) Mexico has been an integral part of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” vision, serving as the bogeyman for his base and the punching bag for the president’s nativist and protectionist agenda.
The best-known policy bid to build a border wall along the entire southern border—and to have Mexico pay for it—has failed. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is even facing fraud charges over a private fundraising campaign to support the divisive project.
But Mexico is also party to Trump’s re-negotiated version of NAFTA—the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement—which the White House claimed as a victory for American workers and a reversal of long-term globalization trends that saw corporations shift manufacturing outside America in search of cheaper labor.
Center-left anti-establishment President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has managed to avoid the kind of conflict with Trump that some observers predicted after his landslide electoral victory in 2018. His government has taken steps to ease the immigration pressure on the U.S. southern border and went along with USMCA talks. Trump has given Obrador a largely free hand at home, provided his southern counterpart helps at the border.
As to whom Obrador—colloquially known as AMLO—wants to win in the U.S., Duncan Wilson, the director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center think tank, told Newsweek: “This is a fascinating question with a complicated answer.”
“AMLO himself would prefer a second Trump term because he believes that, by satisfying Trump’s demands on immigration, he secures non-intervention by Trump on all other issues regarding investor relations and especially the energy sector,” Wood said. “This may well be an erroneous assumption in a second Trump term.”
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