Honeymoon between AMLO and Trump, the risky bet of Mexico

Lune de miel entre AMLO et Trump, le pari risqué du Mexique

The friendliness displayed between Donald Trump and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the result of a risky strategy of the head of the mexican State, which focuses on the re-election in November, the unpredictable president, say analysts.

Even if their first head-to-head in Washington on Wednesday defied the odds, with a Trump that has replaced the rhetoric of anti-mexican by a rain of praise and compliments in respect of the leader of the left, the benefits of this romance for Mexico could be short-lived, and the disappointments are many possible.

“The visit of Lopez Obrador is a signal that the mexican government is willing to be used by the campaign (election) of Donald Trump,” said Carlos Bravo Councilman, a political analyst.

During the speech he gave at the White House, Mr. Lopez Obrador did not hesitate to compare Mr. Trump to former u.s. presidents like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“I wanted to be present to thank him (…) to be more respectful of our fellow mexicans,” said Mr Lopez Obrador.

Phrases like this were “an advertisement for the campaign of Donald Trump” and are already being used as electoral propaganda, ” said Mr. Bravo Councilman.


Economist Macario Schettino believes it is likely that AMLO had been forced to come to the White House because of the insistence of Mr. Trump and favors that he has made the mexican president.

In April, the United States had helped Mexico reach its quota of reduction of its oil production to enable a global agreement of producing countries and curb the price fall.

For Mr. Bravo Councilman, the president of mexico don’t go with Mr. Trump the thorny issue of immigration because it ” is known that on this field-there it’s not going to get anything and it will not change anything “, revealing a level of “unsuspected” pragmatism in its relationship with the american president.

During his election campaign of 2016, Mr. Trump had launched a violent charge against the “rapists” who came up from Mexico and had promised to pay to its neighbor to the South a wall border to combat illegal immigration.

“The priority of the foreign policy of the government of Lopez Obrador is to get along well with Donald Trump, not to be pissed, and in this area, it does well,” continued Mr. Bravo Councilman.

During their first meeting, the two leaders have not announced any new initiative, is taking to the celebration of the new treaty of free trade in north america.

Even if the file major immigration remains unresolved, the economic crisis caused by the pandemic of COVID-19 is that it is “impossible to postpone” the increase in the investments promised by this treaty, underlines the political scientist Gibran Ramirez.

The goal and schedule of this visit – the first foreign-AMLO since his arrival in power there for 18 months – have raised questions and sharp criticism from both sides of the border.

At what price ?

A honeymoon with Donald Trump, who has threatened several times to increase tariffs or close the borders, can be a good thing. But at what price ?

Mr Schettino believes that Mr. Lopez Obrador has demonstrated a total lack of recoil, leaving deteriorate its relations with the us democratic Party, whose candidate Joe Biden is leading the polls for the November presidential election, and it undermines years of diplomatic efforts to limit the weight of Washington in its decisions.

“This leaves new Mexico in the global landscape, as we said formerly, such a lackey of the United States,” he says.

According to Mr. Bravo Councilman, the state of democracy or the stability of the legal and economic issues are always present in the dynamic between Washington and Mexico city, have been sidelined during the tenure of Mr. Trump.

“These issues would be a headache for Lopez Obrador. Somehow, he recognizes that the fault of the presidency, Trump is very good for its government “, avance-t-il.

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