White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will receive the highest honor Mexico can give to a foreign citizen in one of the last acts of outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Kushner will become a member of the Order of the Aztec Eagle because of “his significant contributions” to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, Reuters reported, citing a Spanish-language statement from the Mexican government.
Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, will receive the award Thursday at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.
“Mr. Kushner’s participation was a determinant factor to start the process of renegotiation of (the North American Free Trade Agreement), avoiding a unilateral exit by the United States from said treaty, and his constant and effective involvement was key in achieving a successful close of negotiations,” the award statement said.
The trade deal, which still requires congressional approval, will be formally signed at the summit, CNN reported.
Kushner’s role in the deal was noted at the time of its approval.
“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, this agreement would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jared,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in October, according to Reuters.
In its reporting on the agreement, Bloomberg singled out Kushner.
“Jared Kushner, the president’s aide and son-in-law, played a crucial role in smoothing talks while Mexican officials worked from the sidelines to nudge their partners along,” it reported.
Kushner’s role in the Trump administration has also been praised by outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
“Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands,” Haley said when she announced she would step down from her post, according to Business Insider.
The summit is Peña Nieto’s last major appearance as Mexico’s leader. On Saturday, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador takes the reins of the nation. Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump, Kushner’s wife and the president’s daughter, will represent the United States as López Obrador is inaugurated.
The decision to give an award to the son of a president who has criticized Mexico became fodder for criticism among Mexicans as well as Trump administration critics.
The award to Kushner comes at a time when the president and Mexico are locked in a dispute over the presence in Mexico of bands of migrants who want to enter the U.S. but have been denied legal entry.
Hard to know if this pathetic display of incompetence and nepotism looks worse for Mexico or the US. As #Trump’s tariffs kill US more US jobs, expect the buffoon-in-chief to further vilify his Southern neighbor, whatever bauble his dim som-in-Law receives.https://t.co/k4uJ7LHiLT
— A. Jamie Saris (@jamie_saris) November 28, 2018
Mexican intellectual Enrique Krauze called the decision to give Kushner the Aztec Eagle an act of “supreme humiliation and cowardice.”
“Kushner is the son-in-law of the man who called Mexicans ‘killers and rapists,’” Krauze tweeted, according to The Washington Post’s translation of the Spanish-language tweet.