Mexican leader lauds Trump despite past tariff threats, insults

Mexican leader lauds Trump despite past tariff threats, insults

By: Reuters | Washington |

Up to date: July 9, 2020 7:18:24 am


President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrive for an occasion within the Rose Backyard on the White Home (AP)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lavished reward on President Donald Trump at their first assembly on Wednesday, saying the U.S. chief handled Mexico with respect regardless of his history of threatening tariffs and insulting Mexicans.

The leftist Mexican chief made his first overseas journey as president to the White Home, the place he and Trump accentuated the constructive of their public remarks whereas largely glossing over their variations on enterprise, unlawful medicine and migration.

“What I most respect is that you’ve by no means tried to impose something on us that violates or damages our sovereignty,” Lopez Obrador mentioned in Spanish, turning to have a look at Trump as the 2 spoke within the Rose Backyard earlier than signing a joint declaration.

“You may have by no means tried to deal with us like a colony,” he added. “I’m right here to say to the individuals of the United States that your president has handled us with kindness and respect.”

The White Home mentioned the Mexican delegation, together with Lopez Obrador, have been examined for the coronavirus earlier than they met with Trump.

Conscious of the pandemic, which remains to be surging in Mexico and the US, the boys didn’t shake fingers when Trump greeted Lopez Obrador on his arrival. Neither wore face masks.

There have been no tangible indicators of progress on such points as counter-narcotics and Lopez Obrador’s makes an attempt to renegotiate billions of {dollars} value of power infrastructure contracts.

The 2 males signed a joint declaration that hailed the July 1 begin of United States-Mexico-Canada Settlement, which changed the North American Free Commerce Settlement that Trump, a Republican, reviled.

Trump mentioned the nations have been dedicated to “a shared way forward for prosperity, safety and concord” and joked that he and leftist Lopez Obrador had cast “an incredible relationship … possibly towards all odds.”

Critics argued Trump aimed to make use of the go to to achieve assist amongst Hispanic voters forward of the Nov. three U.S. presidential election wherein he’s anticipated to face Democrat Joe Biden.

Lopez Obrador was not scheduled to satisfy Biden, a former vice chairman who’s favored by Hispanic U.S. voters, in response to opinion polls.

“For a person who mentioned he wasn’t going to the US to wade into electoral waters, he did simply that,” mentioned former Mexican ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan.

Lopez Obrador’s feedback about Trump being respectful towards Mexicans could have left migrant leaders “utterly aghast,” Sarukhan added.

However Porfirio Munoz Ledo, a congressman from Lopez Obrador’s Nationwide Regeneration Motion (MORENA) who at occasions criticizes his personal authorities, mentioned the go to was a tribute to the Mexican chief’s diplomatic abilities.

“It’s exemplary,” he mentioned, saying Trump handled his Mexican visitor with respect and defied the expectations of some critics to indicate him up.

Lopez Obrador dismissed criticism at dwelling to satisfy Trump, who’s broadly disliked in Mexico due to his incendiary remarks.

Trump described Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug runners throughout his 2015-16 presidential election marketing campaign and vowed to make Mexico pay for his deliberate border wall.

In Might 2019, Trump threatened tariffs towards Mexico to pressure it to scale back the variety of unlawful immigrants coming into the US. He solely backed off after Lopez Obrador agreed to deploy safety forces and different steps to stem the circulate of Central American migrants.

On Twitter, Biden accused Trump of fomenting racism.

“Trump launched his 2016 marketing campaign by calling Mexicans rapists,” Biden wrote. “He’s unfold racism towards our Latino neighborhood ever since.”

Trump hosted a dinner for Lopez Obrador and distinguished U.S. and Mexican executives, together with Mexico’s richest man, telecoms magnate Carlos Slim; Bernardo Gomez, co-chief govt officer of media firm Televisa Group; and retail and media tycoon Ricardo Salinas Pliego.

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