President-elect Donald Trump is planning on meeting with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto before he assumes office, according to Reuters. Nieto called Trump after the election to congratulate him on his win, and the two agreed to meet within the next month and discuss security issues as well as the relationship between the two countries going forward.
In late-August, Trump traveled to Mexico for a highly publicized, yet spur of the moment meeting with the Mexican president. Nieto was criticized by the vast majority of his constituency for agreeing to meet with the controversial U.S. presidential candidate.
In general, Mexicans immensely dislike the future U.S. president. Trump started his campaign with the infamous “rapists” remarks when referring to Mexican immigrants and has done little to improve his image with America’s southern neighbor.
Some in Mexico are concerned about how Trump will treat U.S.-Mexican relations.
“A lot of people see the U.S. as a beacon of freedom, as something to aspire to,” said Juan Pardinas, director of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness. “But what happens when you lose a role model, the role model of a nation? Now all of us who admired the U.S. are having second thoughts.”
As the Washington Post pointed out, many Mexicans see Donald Trump’s victory as the worst possible Election Day outcome. Many believe that based on the president-elect’s past rhetoric, future relations are going to be strained, if not disintegrate completely.
“We will have for the next four years, at least, a president of the United States who actively campaigned and centrally campaigned against Mexico’s interests. Full stop. Period,” said former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castañeda. “It’s an unmitigated disaster for Mexico.”
One of Trump’s core campaign promises is to crack down on immigration, especially from Mexico. However, campaign promises are notorious for being easy to make, and harder to keep.
Trump has already soften his tone regarding Obamacare, which he bashed frequently at rallies and events during the election season. Mexicans will have to sit tight to see what tone the Trump administration will set for diplomatic relations.
[Reuters] [New York Times] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images via New York Magazine]