Trump or Biden? Mexico eyes who might enhance struggling financial system | Brazil Information
Mexico City, Mexico – Five years ago, Donald Trump launched his first presidential campaign claiming that Mexico is sending crime, drugs and rapists to the United States. He put the US’s southern neighbor in the spotlight of the elections and kept it there. His infamous promise to build a border wall paid for by Mexico was a cornerstone of his campaign.
There was outrage in Mexico: there was a Trump model routinely in pinata shops for Mexicans to buy and beat. There were comedy games against him, an anti-Trump video game developed by Mexican designers, and even an ass dressed up as Donald for the country’s annual donkey festival. None of this counted as candidate Trump became President Trump and had a fragmented relationship with Mexico’s then-President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Fast forward to the 2020 US election, and things are different. Mexico was never mentioned in the US presidential debates, and Trump’s relationship with current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is more cordial.
An activist hits a pinata of US President Donald Trump in 2016 when he was Trump candidate during a protest in Hemiciclo, a Juarez memorial in Mexico City, Mexico [File: Edgard Garrido/Reuters]AMLO – as Lopez Obrador is called in Mexico – may have published a critical book called Oye, Trump [Listen, Trump] While on the campaign, he has since tried very hard to be friends with the US president.
Lopez Obrador’s only overseas trip during the two years of his presidency so far has been to Washington, DC to meet with Trump, and controversially, he did not attempt to sit down with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Indeed, the relationship between Trump and Lopez Obrador is still strong enough that the US president called his Mexican counterpart a “gentleman” who will be “a great president” at a rally last weekend. Does that mean Lopez Obrador is betting on a Trump victory this time around?
For President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, it’s comforting to know that he already knows where he is with Trump … Biden would add some stability. He won’t suddenly tweet and threaten 25 percent tariffs on Mexican goods if he doesn’t get what he wants.
Friendship at a price
This may seem unlikely given Trump’s previous stance on Mexico, but Christopher Wilson, the assistant director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, told Al Jazeera that there is still some debate about which candidate for US-Mexico relations is best suited.
“For President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, it is comforting to know that he already knows where he is with Trump. You have a relationship and the big issues like migration and USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade] have been worked out so far, ”says Wilson. “But then again, Biden would add some stability. He won’t suddenly tweet and threaten 25 percent tariffs on Mexican goods if he doesn’t get what he wants. “
That is where the dilemma lies. Mexico is experiencing the largest economic slump since the global economic crisis of the 1920s and 1930s, and the US is a major trading partner. While Lopez Obrador may feel like he can handle Trump with four more years of age, friendship historically has a price.
For example, Trump used the economic imbalance between the two countries – 80 percent of Mexican exports go to the US – to put pressure on Mexico.
In May 2019, Trump threatened tariffs of up to 25 percent if the country didn’t prevent Central American migrants and asylum seekers from getting through. This resulted in AMLO having to send thousands of its newly created national guardsmen to the border instead of using them – as planned – to tackle the record levels of violence in the country.
Trump also almost forced the country to accept U.S. asylum seekers from other nations while their applications were being processed by U.S. immigration officials. Mexico reluctantly agreed, and the systematic kidnapping of migrants in at least one city resulted. In Matamoros, more than 5,000 people have been living in a tent camp for more than a year.
and there’s a feeling that under Joe Biden’s restructuring [Argentina’s] The loan will go more smoothly than under Trump, who is ideologically very different from the current left government. “]
A measured approach
Biden, on the other hand, has signaled that if he were elected president he would quickly reverse Trump’s toughest anti-migration measures.
Many Mexican analysts also believe that instead of taking advantage of sudden threats and demands, he would approach the relationship in a more measured and long-term manner.
“He prefers inter-institutional dialogue about this type of brinkmanship. And that would be a plus for Mexico, ”said Wilson. “When you’re dealing with a superpower, you want rules and mechanisms.”
Further south, other Latin American nations are also interested in the results of the US elections. The largest economy in the region is that of Brazil, and the president of that country has already made it clear which side he is on.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro shakes hands with US President Donald Trump in 2019 [File: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]”What Trump is doing [President Jair] Bolsonaro repeated shortly afterwards. Trump downplayed the pandemic, as did Bolsonaro, ”said Monica Yanakiew, Al Jazeera Brazil correspondent. “Trump blamed China, and so did Bolsonaro. Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement; Bolsonaro threatened to do the same. He is a big fan of Trump and openly supports his re-election. “
Yanakiev said Biden’s proposal to offer Brazil $ 20 billion to stop the destruction of the Amazon or impose sanctions further alienated Bolsonaro, who described the comments as “catastrophic”.
Watching (Honduran) politics cares about who is at the top of the US. Many will perceive this as a race between one candidate who is able to empathize with them and another who has caged their children.
Al Jazeera Argentina correspondent Teresa Bo said there is also a vested interest at the top of South America in who the next US leader will be.
“Back under the last president, the International Monetary Fund [IMF] gave Argentina a record bailout – more than $ 50 billion. But now the economy is in trouble again and the country is struggling to repay that, ”said Bo.
“The US has a huge influence on the IMF and there is a feeling that under Joe Biden the restructuring of this loan is going more smoothly than under Trump, who is ideologically very different from the current left administration,” she added.
In Chile, too, many depend on Biden, says Lucia Newman, editor for Latin America at Al Jazeera.
“Most economists and the private sector believe he is more open to free trade and less protectionist than Trump,” Newman said. “Besides, most Chileans simply hate Trump – and that even overcomes ideological barriers. Even the people on the right think he’s too extreme and the right-wing president himself, Sebastian Pinera, disagreed with him on several issues. “
In Central America, many people focus on just one issue: immigration, said Manuel Rapalo, a Mexico-based Al Jazeera correspondent who also covers Central America.
“The Hondurans will not stop leaving the country because the conditions are so bad. And those who watch politics care who is at the top of the US, ”said Rapalo. “Many will perceive this as a race between one candidate who may show empathy with them and another who has caged their children.”
But for all of these nations, the US and its elections may not get as much attention as usual.
The crisis sparked by COVID-19 has exceeded foreign policy concerns for many in Latin America – particularly Mexico, which has the fourth highest death rate in the world and a flatlining economy. As much as Mexico is dependent on the US, everyone is talking about domestic concerns and the global pandemic.