Letter To Trump From Mexico’s President-Elect Reflects Openness To Trade

López Obrador asks the U.S. President to continue NAFTA negotiations and lays out plans to stabilize Mexico and its economic ties to the United States

This file photo shows Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador greets supporters during a campaign rally held in Cancún on June 26, 2018.

In a 7-page letter to President Donald Trump, Mexico's left-wing president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador addressed issues of free trade and migration.

The letter offers insight into what Mexico's economic relationship with cities like Houston could look like when the new president takes office on December 1. Some business leaders are skeptical of how López Obrador’s presidency could affect Mexico’s sweeping energy reforms, free trade and international private investment.

Migration Policy Institute President Andrew Selee said though sending a letter is old-fashioned, López Obrador's message reflects fresh economic policies for a Latin American leftist.


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"It doesn't look like he's turning the clock back on Mexico's openness to the world, on its economic opening, on its integration with the United States, or even in the energy market. It really looks like he's preoccupied with trying to bring along those who have been left behind," said Selee.

"It's a hybrid model and it's a ways from where he started off as a leftist politician but it's a savvy agenda to have in a globalized world and a country like Mexico that is so dependent on the export economy," added the expert.

Mexico is Houston's most important foreign market, accounting for $15 billion in exports in 2016.

Meanwhile, total trade between the state of Texas and Mexico reaches an estimated $180 billion dollars each year.

In his letter, López Obrador also said he would work to stabilize Mexico, so citizens wouldn’t feel the need to migrate because of violence or lack of economic opportunity.

“We will strive to ensure that people find work and well-being in their places of origin, where their families, their customs, and their cultures are. To achieve this fundamental purpose, the incoming government will carry out the greatest effort ever undertaken in Mexico,” the president-elect said in the letter.

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Elizabeth Trovall

Elizabeth Trovall

Immigration Reporter

Elizabeth Trovall is an immigration reporter for Houston Public Media. She joined the News 88.7 team after several years abroad in Santiago, Chile, where she reported on business, energy, politics and culture. Trovall's work has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, Latino...

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