Monday, January 23, 2017
Donald Trump, the USA and Mexico - What lies Ahead?
By Allan Wall
Well, it’s finally come to pass. Donald
Trump is President of the United States, having been installed in the traditional inauguration ceremony on January 20th, 2017,
in Washington, D.C.
My 17-year old son was able to attend as part of a youth organization, and he had a great time.
Meanwhile, I was at work
at school and showed it in my classroom.
Of course, the campaign and election of Donald Trump was fraught with
controversy. After all, the candidate was a real outsider who shook up the establishment of his own Republican
party. But, Trump was triumphant in the election.
Bernie Sanders, a Democratic party senator and candidate in the Democratic
primary, summed it up this way: “Trump took on the Republican establishment, he took on the Democratic establishment,
took on the media establishment, and he ended up winning the election to become President of the United States. And that is
an extraordinary accomplishment. And it talks about perseverance, it talks about very strong political instincts, it talks
about a way to connect with people.”
Now Trump is president, and the real test begins as a man who has never held public office before
starts at the top. Of course, Trump has plenty of executive experience, but in the business world, not
the political arena.
In Mexico, Trump has been excoriated since he entered the race in June of 2015. And really, the hysteria
in the Mexican media and among the political elite has been over the top and counter-productive. How much
of the so-called “Trump Effect” on the Mexican peso has been caused by this hysteria, which implies that Mexico
is powerless to protect its currency against a foreign politician?
Some Mexican intellectuals have called for a scorched-earth policy.
Krause said that Mexico shouldn’t even negotiate with Trump.
Jorge Castañeda, who served for a time as Vicente Fox’s
Foreign Minister, counsels the government to refuse to accept deportees unless American officials can prove they are Mexican
citizens. Castañeda also says Mexico should use Central American immigration through Mexico as a
bargaining chip against the United States.
But what sense does that make? If the Trump administration walls
off the border, all those Central American illegal aliens will be stuck in Mexico, and the Mexican government certainly doesn’t
Of course, neither Krause nor Castañeda really has to answer to the people over their policies.
Nor does former president
Vicente Fox, who is probably the Mexican politician most like Trump. Fox has gone on one hysterical anti-Trump
rant after another. Once he was filmed standing in front of the Trump tower railing against The Donald.
What does Fox gain with this? Well, certainly a degree of media attention.
But the Enrique Peña
Nieto administration is attempting to deal with the issues by congratulating Trump on his inauguration and then negotiating
And that team includes Luis Videgaray, who as of January 4th is back in the government.
Videgaray, as may be recalled,
was pressured to resign as Finance Minister after arranging the visit of candidate Donald Trump back in September.
Videgaray did that by negotiating with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
(See After Trump's Visit Mexican President Sacks Finance Minister).
So Videgaray is not only back in the Mexican government, but he now holds the Foreign Ministry portfolio.
Peña Nieto stated on the day Videgaray was named Foreign Minister that, “With the change of government in the
United States on 20 January, the instructions for Secretary Videgaray is to accelerate dialogue and contacts so that from
the first day the bases for building a constructive work relationship can be established.”
Videgaray is not losing any time, planning to visit Washington
(along with Economics Minister Ildefonso Guajardo) and to speak with U.S. officials.
In this ambitious meeting, the plan is for Videgaray and
Guajardo to meet with Reince Priebus (Chief of Staff), Jared Kushner and Stephen Bannon, National Security Adviser Michael
Flynn, and others.
Then, on January 21st, a day after Trump’s inauguration, it was announced that Mexican President
Enrique Peña Nieto will meet in the White House on January 31st with President Trump himself.
I hope these negotiations will
be successful, and I hope that the Trump team will keep in mind that having a prosperous Mexico as a neighbor is in the best
interests of the United States of America.
Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years. His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.