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Mexican leader lauds Trump despite past tariff threats, insults

By: Reuters | Washington |

Up to date: July 9, 2020 7:18:24 am

President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrive for an occasion within the Rose Backyard on the White Home (AP)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lavished reward on President Donald Trump at their first assembly on Wednesday, saying the U.S. leader handled Mexico with respect despite his historical past of threatening tariffs and insulting Mexicans.

The leftist Mexican leader made his first international journey as president to the White Home, the place he and Trump accentuated the constructive 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 mentioned in Spanish, turning to have a look at Trump as the 2 spoke within the Rose Backyard 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 Home mentioned the Mexican delegation, together with Lopez Obrador, have been examined for the coronavirus earlier than they met with Trump.

Aware of the pandemic, which remains to be surging in Mexico and the US, the boys didn’t shake fingers when Trump greeted Lopez Obrador on his arrival. Neither wore face masks.

There have 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 2 males signed a joint declaration that hailed the July 1 begin of United States-Mexico-Canada Settlement, which changed the North American Free Commerce Settlement that Trump, a Republican, reviled.

Trump mentioned the international locations have 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 achieve help amongst Hispanic voters forward of the Nov. three U.S. presidential election wherein he’s anticipated to face Democrat Joe Biden.

Lopez Obrador was not scheduled to fulfill Biden, a former vp who’s favored by Hispanic U.S. voters, in line 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,” mentioned former Mexican ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan.

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

However Porfirio Munoz Ledo, a congressman from Lopez Obrador’s Nationwide Regeneration Motion (MORENA) who at occasions criticizes his personal authorities, mentioned the go to was a tribute to the Mexican leader’s diplomatic expertise.

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

Lopez Obrador disregarded criticism at dwelling to fulfill Trump, who’s broadly 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 Could 2019, Trump threatened tariffs in opposition to Mexico to power it to cut back the variety of unlawful immigrants coming into the US. 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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