AMLO Will Meet Trump for the First Time to celebrate “NAFTA 2.0”
The Mexican president will be in Washington D.C. on July 8 and 9 to meet his U.S. counterpart.
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Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced at his morning press conference on June 29 that he will be going to Washington D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump.
The Mexican president also reaffirmed that he would be flying commercial to the meeting.
He wants to keep his word on a campaign promise that he would not use the presidential plane because he regards it as an unnecessary luxury. He is still trying to sell or raffle off the plane worth $130 million.
Keeping true to this campaign promise during the global pandemic could prove risky as the 66-year-old head of state will be exposing himself to highly trafficked areas.
On Wednesday, July 1, the Mexican president plans to give a special conference that will commemorate two years since the people of Mexico voted him into power. He will also take the time to inform the Mexican people on his plans for the country’s economic recovery.
The meeting with Trump will be to recognize the U.S-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) going into effect on July 1.
AMLO said the deal going into effect comes at a good time, as Mexico is climbing out of problems related to the pandemic.
The country of over 126 million people saw 12.5 million of its citizens lose their jobs just in the month of April.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Mexico has a higher observed case-fatality ratio than the U.S. and Brazil, but its larger regional partners have garnered more media attention for their total number of cases.
The USMCA was signed last December and will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement that was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Both the U.S. and Mexico were unhappy with effects that NAFTA had on their labor forces.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. lost 879,280 jobs to NAFTA between 1993 to 2002 alone.
Criticizing the trade deal was also a focal point for Trump on the campaign trail in 2016.
“We’re going to renegotiate NAFTA. Probably the worst trade deal ever agreed to [and] signed in the history of the world,” he said at the time.
NAFTA was supposed to bring rapid economic development to Mexico but instead according to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mexico’s economy and per capita income grew at smaller rates than that of other Latin American nations.
The New York Times also reported that, “as heavily subsidized U.S. corn and other staples poured into Mexico, producer prices dropped and small farmers found themselves unable to make a living. Some two million farmers have been forced to leave their farms since NAFTA ''
Many of those farmers had no choice but to immigrate to the United States, leaving the fields they once worked on and maybe even their family behind.
The meeting between the two leaders comes after Trump threatened Mexico last June with an increase in tariffs if they did not take action on the flow of Central American migrants to their shared border.
The threats stopped after it became apparent that Mexico already agreed to take action two months earlier. Part of the agreement included the Mexican government deploying its national guard to its borders and allowing asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until they can be processed by the U.S.
On Sunday, Univision’s Jorge Ramos interviewed John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, and asked whether he believed the U.S. president will use his meeting with AMLO as part of his reelection campaign.
“I think that’s very much on the president’s mind,” answered Bolton.