Mexico’s socialist president-elect wants to fix trade with the USA by appealing to Trump’s anti-establishment politics

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at a campaign rally in Patzcuaro, Michoacan state, Mexico, May 31, 2018.

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Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at a campaign rally in Patzcuaro, Michoacan state, Mexico, May 31, 2018.
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REUTERS/Alan Ortega

  • Mexican President-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, sent a public letter to Trump urging them to work together as two leaders who put their citizens and voters before the establishment.
  • He asked Trump to help bring NAFTA talks to a close, which he said have damaged economic confidence in Mexico through uncertainty.
  • “I am encouraged by the fact that we both know how to do what we say, and we have both faced adversity with success… We manage to put our voters and citizens at the center and displace the establishment.” Obrador wrote in the letter that was delivered to Trump at talks in Mexico on Sunday.

Mexican President-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has sent US President Donald Trump a letter urging him to help bring an end to NAFTA negotiations, saying the pair could work together as two anti-establishment politicians that put their “voters and citizens at the center” of what they do.

Mexican officials disclosed existence of the letter on Sunday, after President Trump received it during a meeting between senior officials of both countries held in Mexico, Reuters reported.

Lopez Obrador became Mexico’s President elect in a landslide victory on July 1, on a socialist platform advocating financial aid for students and the elderly, energy reform, slashing the wages of politicians and increased social spending.

Lopez Obrador’s appointed foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, read the letter at a news conference with Obrador, and said the incoming government’s aim is to “start a new chapter in the relationship between Mexico and the United States, based on mutual respect.”

Trump has spoken against Mexican immigration and trade, and Obrador pledged to put Trump “in his place” during his campaign, but despite this history and their differing politics, Obrador said he is optimistic about their working relationship, Reuters reported.

“I am encouraged by the fact that we both know how to do what we say, and we have both faced adversity with success… We manage to put our voters and citizens at the center and displace the establishment.” Obrador wrote.

The Mexican President, who will take office on December 1 called for an end to the NAFTA free trade talks which have dragged on and which Obrador said have damaged economic confidence in his country.

“Prolonging the uncertainty could stop investment in the medium and long-term, which clearly would challenge economic growth,” Lopez Obrador added in his letter.

The leader wrote that he was willing to back an “initiative and budgetary proposal to contribute economic resources and experiences in this joint effort.”