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Mexican leader lauds Trump despite past tariff threats, insults

By: Reuters | Washington |

Updated: July 9, 2020 7:18:24 am

President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrive for an occasion within the Rose Garden on the White House (AP)
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lavished reward on President Donald Trump at their first assembly on Wednesday, saying the U.S. chief handled Mexico with respect regardless of his historical past of threatening tariffs and insulting Mexicans.

The leftist Mexican chief made his first overseas journey as president to the White House, the place he and Trump accentuated the optimistic of their public remarks whereas largely glossing over their variations on enterprise, unlawful medicine and migration.

“What I most appreciate is that you have never tried to impose anything on us that violates or damages our sovereignty,” Lopez Obrador stated in Spanish, turning to have a look at Trump as the 2 spoke within the Rose Garden earlier than signing a joint declaration.

“You have never attempted to treat us like a colony,” he added. “I am here to say to the people of the United States that your president has treated us with kindness and respect.”

The White House stated the Mexican delegation, together with Lopez Obrador, had been examined for the coronavirus earlier than they met with Trump.

Mindful of the pandemic, which continues to be surging in Mexico and the United States, the boys didn’t shake arms when Trump greeted Lopez Obrador on his arrival. Neither wore face masks.

There had been no tangible indicators of progress on such points as counter-narcotics and Lopez Obrador’s makes an attempt to renegotiate billions of {dollars} price of vitality infrastructure contracts.

The two males signed a joint declaration that hailed the July 1 begin of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which changed the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump, a Republican, reviled.

Trump stated the nations had been dedicated to “a shared future of prosperity, security and harmony” and joked that he and leftist Lopez Obrador had cast “a great relationship … maybe against all odds.”

Critics argued Trump aimed to make use of the go to to realize help amongst Hispanic voters forward of the Nov. three U.S. presidential election during which he’s anticipated to face Democrat Joe Biden.

Lopez Obrador was not scheduled to satisfy Biden, a former vice chairman who’s favored by Hispanic U.S. voters, in keeping with opinion polls.

“For a man who said he wasn’t going to the United States to wade into electoral waters, he did just that,” stated former Mexican ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan.

Lopez Obrador’s feedback about Trump being respectful towards Mexicans can have left migrant leaders “completely aghast,” Sarukhan added.

But Porfirio Munoz Ledo, a congressman from Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) who at instances criticizes his personal authorities, stated the go to was a tribute to the Mexican chief’s diplomatic expertise.

“It’s exemplary,” he stated, saying Trump handled his Mexican visitor with respect and defied the expectations of some critics to indicate him up.

Lopez Obrador disregarded criticism at dwelling to satisfy Trump, who’s extensively disliked in Mexico due to his incendiary remarks.

Trump described Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug runners throughout his 2015-16 presidential election marketing campaign and vowed to make Mexico pay for his deliberate border wall.

In May 2019, Trump threatened tariffs in opposition to Mexico to power it to scale back the variety of unlawful immigrants getting into the United States. He solely backed off after Lopez Obrador agreed to deploy safety forces and different steps to stem the stream of Central American migrants.

On Twitter, Biden accused Trump of fomenting racism.

“Trump launched his 2016 campaign by calling Mexicans rapists,” Biden wrote. “He’s spread racism against our Latino community ever since.”

Trump hosted a dinner for Lopez Obrador and outstanding U.S. and Mexican executives, together with Mexico’s richest man, telecoms magnate Carlos Slim; Bernardo Gomez, co-chief govt officer of media firm Televisa Group; and retail and media tycoon Ricardo Salinas Pliego.

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