Tuesday, March 28, 2017

US-Mexico relations

McClatchy reports on the state of US relations with Mexico, Which country are Trump officials talking to the most? (Hint: It’s not Russia) 03/27/2017

Mexico experts like Andrew Selee, executive vice president of the Wilson Center, a Washington research center, see a deliberate effort to prevent a crucial relationship from sliding off the rails.

“It really is a surprising level of engagement,” Selee said in an interview. “The only other country I can think of where we’re seeing this kind of visible engagement is probably Israel. I don’t see any other relationship where we’re seeing as much.” ...

The two countries have had so many meetings that other governments are looking to Mexico for advice on dealing with the Trump administration. That’s often a question that comes up when Latin American and European diplomats travel to Mexico to meet with government officials there.

“They’re saying ‘Hey, tell me what is going on in the Trump administration. What is your experience?’ ” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington organization focused on Latin America. “They’ve been sort of the specialists on the Trump administration because they’ve had more exposure to them.”

It’s unclear how productive the meetings actually are. Each side is sizing up the other.

What is clear, though, is Mexico is the only country that combines the two issues that are pillars of Trump’s campaign: trade and immigration. As they fill jobs, officials are discussing who might be best to deal with whom in the Mexican government. [my emphasis]
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto seems to be trying to minimize the confrontation with the US. Because he had previously enjoyed good relations with the Obama Administration. The Peña Nieto government had been a loyal practitioner of "Washington Consensus" neoliberal economic policies, which was in conformity with Obama's generally conservative - really conservative! - policies in Latin America.

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