Those on the left who have been furious with President Donald Trump’s stance on illegal immigration and border security now have another country’s leader to scorn.
And it’s not one you would expect.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president-elect of Mexico, released a seven-page letter that he sent to Trump earlier this month in which he outlined how he hopes the two countries can work together to improve security at their border and discourage migration from Mexico.
“There will be many changes,” he promised in the letter. “And in this new atmosphere of progress with well-being, I’m sure we can reach agreements to confront together the migration phenomenon as well as the problem of border insecurity.”
Marcelo Ebrard, the president-elect’s proposed foreign minister, read a copy of the letter at a news conference with Lopez Obrador Sunday that said the incoming administration’s aim is to “start a new chapter in the relationship between Mexico and the United States, based on mutual respect.”
Lopez Obrador takes office Dec. 1. He’s already spoken by phone with Trump and met with some U.S. officials, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to begin opening lines of communication between the U.S. and his administration.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he and Mexico’s president elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador discussed how the two countries could advance common goals on economy, trade as well as resolve border issues pic.twitter.com/rWu9TNh3vi
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) July 13, 2018
Lopez Obrador indicated he was optimistic about his working relationship with Trump.
“I am encouraged by the fact that we both know how to do what we say, and we have both faced adversity with success,” Lopez Obrador wrote. “We manage to put our voters and citizens at the center and displace the establishment.”
Lopez Obrador singled out migration, economic development and security as the primary areas he would like to collaborate with Trump. He believes economic development of Mexico and other Central American countries would improve conditions in those areas and dissuade people from believing they must flee to the U.S.
“My government is willing to present to our Congress … the initiative and budgetary proposal to contribute economic resources and experiences in this joint effort,” he wrote.
The president-elect also wants to jump start talks of a modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Those talks began last year after Trump said NAFTA must be reworked to better suit America’s interests.
“Prolonging the uncertainty could stop investment in the medium and long-term, which clearly would challenge economic growth,” Lopez Obrador wrote in the letter.
Last week, Trump said he had “very good discussions” with Lopez Obrador and may look at negotiating a separate trade deal with Mexico.
While Lopez Obrador is considered to be a leftist with many differences from Trump in terms of politics, he does share some similarities. For instance, he plans to reduce taxes for the private sector in the hopes of spurring investment and job creation. He’s also cutting the number of government employees and reducing salaries and perks for some of the remaining workers.
Cutting taxes on businesses, improving border security, discouraging illegal immigration to the U.S. Sounds like the goals of the “evil” American president and the “progressive” president-elect of Mexico aren’t all that different.
I’m sure how they’re portrayed in the media, however, will be completely opposite.