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Trump predicts 'very good relationship' with Mexico's president-elect Lopez Obrador

05 July, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Pedro Pardo  AFP  Getty Images

Lopez Obrador's victory was expected by many to further worsen Mexico's already frosty relations with the US, whose president, Donald Trump, has slammed the country over illegal migration and pressured it to pay for a border wall. That's where the similarities with his counterpart north of the border end.

He wrote:"Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico". In a post-election speech, however, he has taken a more concilliatory tone saying he would like to "pursue a relationship of friendship and co-operation with the United States, always rooted in mutual respect and in the defence of our fellow Mexicans who live and work honourably in that country".

Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, saw a change from past Mexican leaders who were "obsessed" about being on good terms with the United States.

The leader of Mexico's other NAFTA partner, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, welcomed Lopez Obrador's victory, calling Mexico a "close friend".

"We're going to accompany the current government in this negotiation, we're going to be very respectful, and we're going to support the signing of the agreement", he told Milenio TV. "And I think that, at the very least, we need to, if we are going to-if this appointment is going to happen, at the very least we can do is delay the timeline in which women's healthcare is going to be taken away, delay the timeline in which our civil rights could potentially be further eroded".

Both of Lopez Obrador's opponents in Sunday's vote - Jose Antonio Meade, of the ruling PRI party, and the PAN Party's Ricardo Anaya - wished him success "for the well-being of Mexico". In his first loss - by a mere 0.56 percent to conservative Felipe Calderon in 2006 - his supporters held months-long protests in Mexico City and he referred to himself as "the legitimate president".

Even so, the peso weakened around 1 per cent against the dollar and Mexico's S&P/BMV IPC benchmark stock index was also down nearly 1.5 per cent as exit polls showed Lopez Obrador's MORENA party performed strongly in the elections, which were also for members of Congress.

Lopez Obrador, 64, is making his third presidential bid. Credit agency Finch also warned that the election would bring prolonged uncertainty over the future of the oil industry.


Speaking late on Sunday night as results trickled in, he vowed to tackle corruption, get a handle on Mexico's violent war on drugs and focus on poverty and inequality.

Mexican presidents serve six years and can not be re-elected.

Mexico recorded about 29,000 killings past year, the highest annual number since modern records started being kept two decades ago.

She said she backed leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and called him less than ideal but the "best of the bad" options.

Mexico's peso surged on Tuesday by the most in over two years, boosted by a global emerging markets rally and soothing comments from the country's newly elected leftist president that he will not ramp up spending. But he now supports reaching an agreement with the United States and Canada, though talks have been stalled over Trump administration demands for higher US content and a "sunset clause" in the 1994 trade agreement.

Compared with his predecessors, Lopez Obrador is likely to be more focused on domestic economic issues than on settling trade issues with the United States, O'Neil said.

Disappointed with the PRD's support for Mr. Peña Nieto's economic initiatives, Mr. Obrador founded a new party, the National Regeneration Movement in 2014, and won the elections in 2018 with 53.8% of the votes in his favour.

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