Executive Intelligence Review


Mexico President-Elect Tells Trump, We Need a New NAFTA with Development Fund

July 23, 2018 (EIRNS)—A letter proposing rapid negotiation of a new NAFTA agreement focused on credit for fighting poverty and building infrastructure, was delivered from Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to President Donald Trump July 13, via Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and is now on the website of the Mexican political leader.

The letter was highlighted by being read aloud to media July 22 by AMLO’s designated Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard. It said the American and Mexican administrations should work together on trade, migration, development and security. One particularly interesting aspect of the letter is AMLO’s emphasis at the end of the letter, that

“both of us know how to keep our word and we have successfully faced adversity. We have placed our voters and citizens at the center, and displaced the establishment.”

AMLO proposed a new NAFTA—which Trump has also mooted could be agreed by the end of August.

“Prolonging the uncertainty could slow down investments in the medium and long-term. I propose to resume negotiations with the participation of representatives from Mexico, Canada and the United States,”

López Obrador wrote. He also said that his representatives are joining the negotiating team of the current President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.

The letter also called on the U.S. to work with Mexico and Central American governments on a development plan to address the root causes of migration, proposing to tackle the poverty and violence that forces people to migrate in the first place, and create jobs while strengthening borders. He announced that Mexico would establish a free trade zone all along the Mexico-U.S. border, and in the rail corridor that will be built across the Tehuantepec Isthmus, as part of his job-creation strategy. With these and other rail and infrastructure projects, “jobs and factories established would create an important number of jobs, and thus prevent the region’s youth from emigrating north in search of work.” And, more broadly, he elaborated,

“every government, from Panama to the Rio Bravo [Rio Grande], would work to make the migration of its citizens economically unnecessary....”

He suggested a fund, that would foster development in the region.

Ebrard said a response from Trump is expected soon. The subject of a fund for major infrastructure projects south of the border, in part to fight poverty and slow emigration to the United States, was already discussed by Trump and AMLO in two phone calls immediately following Mexico’s election on July 1.