Friday, May 31, 2019

AMLO Remains Cautious With Trump

Donald Trump announced tariffs on all Mexican goods, starting at 5% and getting up to 25% unless undocumented immigration goes to zero. That it is a bad idea goes without saying but I am actually more interested in AMLO's response. He wrote a measured letter (text here) that ended by asking respectfully that representatives from the two governments meet.

I wrote back in February in Global Americans about AMLO's cautious foreign policy. He wants to avoid confrontation (he actually says that explicitly in the second sentence of his letter).

Contrary to expectations, AMLO is no leftist firebrand in foreign policy. He has an ambitious and contentious domestic policy agenda and his current inclination is to avoid foreign policy conflict that distracts too much from advancing those. His approval rating is a stratospheric 86 percent, so for now the strategy is working. But a number of his foreign policy audiences have opposing views and over time he will find it harder to reconcile them.
This last point is the one I wonder most about. How long until his domestic audience tires of his caution when Mexico is under attack? It's also entirely possible that Trump reads caution as weakness, so is apt to attack even more. I assume AMLO was immediately on the phone with Jared Kushner, who he's already met with before. He doesn't have a lot of good options.


Alfredo 11:45 AM  

One mistake by AMLO is dealing with Kushner.....terrible move....Kushner unfortunately has some wacky ideas on the about interference by a foreign government on another country, it's Israel on the US and the son in law is the conduit....AMLO stop talking to him!!!...

Greg Weeks 4:20 PM  

Unfortunately, governments see Kushner (often accurately) as the only way to get directly at Trump.

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