Friday, February 10, 2017

Jared Kushner and Mexico

It seems that Jared Kushner has taken a lead role in foreign policy, especially U.S.-Mexican relations. While I had written previously that a connection between Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Secretary of State Tillerson might calm things down, it remains to be seen how much Tillerson is in the loop. Kushner has Oval Office access.

He asked for articles about Mexico and U.S.-Mexican relations, so he knows nothing about the topic. (I suppose the glass half full response would be that at least he's trying--I'd love to know whose articles he's given). More problematic, though, is that Donald Trump's attention span is minuscule. Kushner tried to moderate Trump's Mexico speech, but quickly everything went off the rails and Trump went berserk on Twitter.

Thus, we have foreign policy based on ignorance (literally, in the sense that neither Trump nor Kushner know anything about the countries they're dealing with) and whim.  Kushner's main ability is to get you on Trump's radar and maybe even into the Oval Office, which makes him a magnet. But complex discussion of issues and options so far may not be in the cards.

Unfortunately, this is where all foreign policy may now be going:

The diplomatic community is taking note, viewing Mexico as a guinea pig. Senior officials from several other countries have already reached out to their Mexican counterparts, hoping to glean insights about the new president, the changing geopolitical dynamics in Washington and the quiet, dimpled man behind it all — Kushner. 


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