U.S. President Donald Trump had accused Mexico of not cooperating on immigration. But his decision to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border has spiked tensions from Mexico’s viewpoint.
President Enrique Pena Nieto ordered a full review of every aspect of bilateral relations with Washington.
CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City.
President Donald Trump’s deployment of U.S. National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border was the latest blow to already tense relations.
That decision and the harsh language Trump has repeatedly used in reference to Mexico since he ran as a candidate has deeply offended the Mexican nation. This week Mexican president responded with a rare message to his countrymen making direct reference to Trump. “President Trump, if you want to reach agreements with Mexico, we are ready. We are ready to negotiate, yes, but only from a base of mutual respect,” warned Mexico’s president.
Nieto was referring to a resolution by Mexico’s Senate, which urged him to stop cooperating with the Trump administration on the crucial issues of border security and immigration.
This back and forth rhetoric of threats and responses is taking place in an atmosphere of campaigns: mid-term elections in the United States and Presidential elections in Mexico.
On the campaign trail, the front-runner in Mexico’s race for the presidency, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told his supporters that Trump’s rhetoric is political.
“This anti-Mexican policy has worked politically, because unfortunately, there are conservative sectors in the United States with little information and he knows how to awaken an anti-Mexican sentiment,” Lopez Obrador explained.
Lorenzo Meyer is a columnist for the Mexico City daily, Reforma and a widely respected historian. He said that Pena Nieto’s message may appear tough, but he sees no action. “He has not taken any really important actions and Mexican cooperation with the United States continues as usual. The only thing that has changed was his discourse and that is due to domestic pressure more than an initiative by the president himself,” said Meyer.
Friday, Mexico’s National Auto Association reported that U.S. trade negotiators are backing down from demands that Mexican assembled autos contain 85 percent US parts.
And earlier in the week, Pena Nieto ordered a detailed review of thousands of policies relating to how Mexico conducts its relationship with the U.S. He also increased the number of armed police on Mexico’s southern border with Central America.