Category Archives: Diplomacy

Frayed U.S.-Mexico Ties Mend as Trump Refrains From Attacks

Mexican citizens demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally in Mexico City in February. (Mario Guzman/European Press Photo Agency)
Mexican citizens demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally in Mexico City in February. (Mario Guzman/European Press Photo Agency)

By David Luhnow and Jacob Schlesinger / Wall Street Journal

Earlier this year, U.S.-Mexican relations hit their worst crisis in decades when Presidents Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto quarreled over who would pay for a proposed border wall, prompting the Mexican president to call off a planned trip to Washington.

But then a funny thing happened: Trump, at the urging of senior aides, stopped attacking Mexico on Twitter and in public statements, opening up space to officials from both countries to markedly improve ties since then, U.S. and Mexican officials say.

“The relationship is much more constructive,” a senior Mexican government official said. A senior U.S. official agreed, saying the greater contact between the sides had improved ties.

Mexican officials say they are more confident now that the two countries can strike a deal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump attacked repeatedly on the campaign trail as the worst trade deal the U.S. ever signed.

“We’ve gone from panic to concern,” another top Mexican official said.

The White House declined to comment.

Mexico treads carefully as it confronts Venezuela

CNSNews – Mexico’s insistence that the government of Venezuela return to “democratic norms” is not an effort to take the lead in Latin America’s response to the country’s worsening economic and political crisis, according to political analysts here. Instead, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto believes that to remain silent is not in Mexico’s best interests, said Jorge Chabat, professor of international studies at the Center for Research and Teaching on Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City.

Vacationing Americans chant “Build the wall”

Global News – Anaximandro and Sully Amable were all set to enjoy a night watching a pirate show on a boat in the waters off of Cancun. That’s when some U.S. tourists aboard the ship started chanting “build the wall,” in a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The chanting didn’t stop even after it clearly made Mexican workers and tourists aboard the ship uncomfortable.

Top U.S. drug official praises cooperation with Mexico

LAT – A top U.S. drug official made a strong case Thursday for continued cooperation with Mexico on fighting drug-trafficking, saying successful law enforcement already has created a virtual wall. In a subtle dig at the Trump administration, William Brownfield, the State department’s senior diplomat involved in drug policy, said that despite a crisis drug epidemic, the United States and Mexico were in a better position than ever to combat it.

Tillerson, Kelly hope to ease U.S.-Mexico tensions

VoA – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly met Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and members of his cabinet, in what is expected to be the first in a series of high-level meetings focusing on drug trafficking, trade and immigration.

The two key members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet were hoping to soothe concern and anger about the new U.S. administration’s policies toward Mexico.

Pope issues veiled rebuke of Trump’s border wall

Independent – Pope Francis has issued a thinly veiled rebuke of Donald Trump’s cornerstone policy to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The pontiff did not refer to the US President by name or directly mention his plan to build a fence along the border but instead emphasised the need to forge bridges rather than walls.

On first day, Tillerson calls Canada, Mexico

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for unity and understanding on his first day at the State Department amid internal dissent over policies of President Donald Trump, which have also antagonized a range of allies. Within hours of starting the job, Tillerson reached out by phone to counterparts from Mexico and Canada, spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and met with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, department officials said.

Trump reportedly threatens to send troops to Mexico

Business Insider During a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto last Friday, US President Donald Trump disparaged Mexico and threatened to use military force against the drug trade. While both the White House and the Mexican president characterized the call as a “friendly,”  Dolia Estevez, a journalist based in Washington, DC, said she “obtained confidential information” corroborating the content of the discussion.

“I don’t need the Mexicans. I don’t need Mexico,” Trump reportedly told the Mexican president. “We are going to build the wall and you all are going to pay for it, like it or not.”

Trump tasks son-in-law with managing Mexico dispute

Chicago Tribune – President Donald Trump shifted a jam-packed schedule Friday to make room for an hourlong phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. By the end of the conversation, Trump had tasked his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner — a real estate executive with no national security experience — with managing the ongoing dispute.