By Michael O’Boyle / Reuters
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet at the end of this month to discuss trade, immigration and security issues, as the Latin American leader faces increased populist pressure at home.
Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer told a news conference on Saturday that the two leaders will meet on Jan. 31, the week after senior officials of both administrations hold bilateral talks in Washington.
Trump is committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and would move to withdraw if no “fair deal” is forthcoming, according to the White House website.
Pena Nieto, whose popularity has plummeted due to corruption scandals and rising inflation, has been criticized for lacking a clear strategy to counter Trump’s threats to crimp trade and deport illegal immigrants.
Seeking to capitalize on that discontent, Mexican 2018 presidential forerunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Saturday said he would tour major U.S. cities starting in February.
“Enough of being passive,” Lopez Obrador of the leftist Moreno party said in a statement. “We should put a national emergency plan in place to face the damage and reverse the protectionist policies of Donald Trump.”