In short, Mexico could be part of a global anti-U.S. axis.
The Trump administration should be aware of the implications for its relationship with Mexico under an eventual Andrés Manuel López Obrador presidency. Several consequences are clearly predictable, given the outbursts, threats and plans of the native of the Mexican state of Tabasco.
1. The prevalence of anti-American sentiment: Trump’s hostility toward us has caused widespread outrage. It has strengthened the anti-imperialist nationalism of the old left, populists and extremists who are taking advantage of Trump’s provocations (the border wall, the persecution of immigrants) to encourage jingoism and belligerence. Once in power, Lopez Obrador, like Evo Morales and Nicolás Maduro, will blame the United States and “neoliberal globalization” for his failures, doing so as a distraction and an excuse for “mobilizing the people against the external enemy.”
2. An adverse financial climate, and consequences for the economy and commerce: Trump’s constant attacks on the North American Free Trade Agreement and his protectionism have provoked fury among Lopez Obrador supporters against the Energy Reform — and any other kind of “privatization” — and fantasies of “self-sufficiency” in food and petroleum, among other sectors. This rage could result in ditching the tripartite agreement; it would be not you, but Lopez Obrador, rejecting it. There will be endless disputes and lawsuits, which will seriously affect trade and the climate for negotiations. Today, he is ranting against the treaty, but later, he will regret putting the viability of the North American trading block at risk.
3. Risk of nationalization and expropriation: You should know that, with Lopez Obrador, state control will grow, along with an increase in domestic economic problems resulting from the flight of capital and the decline in domestic and foreign investment, given the lack of guarantees and favorable conditions; the return of the fiction economy (exchange and price controls, etc.); inflation that is out of control, public debt, etc.; and class warfare, promoted by the state, against transnationals and large companies (including Mexican companies) which would be considered the “internal enemy.”
4. Less cooperation, greater tension and the border crisis: Trump’s aggression has undermined cooperation with Mexico, making it more difficult for the two countries to work together to combat organized crime and violence, and to manage immigration and other issues that put mutual security at risk. But the bilateral relationship could reach a critical point if it produces a massive wave of refugees and a humanitarian crisis at the border — similar to the situation at the Colombia-Venezuela border — as a result of a deteriorating situation in our country.
5. A bulwark of Latin-American populism: Because of Mexico’s influence, Lopez Obrador will be a leader in hemispheric populism, a natural ally of Maduro, Morales, Ortega and socialist Cuba. He will revive outdated Hugo Chavez-style institutions and encourage the rise of other demagogues to power. This could stimulate hostility in the region against his government, inconsistent with the Latin American democratic and globalizing block.
6. China and/or Russia, Mexico’s new allies: To counter the United States, Lopez Obrador’s administration will turn to the Chinese and the Russians. They, along with the North Koreans and the Iranians, among others, will not miss a historic opportunity to have us as a valuable ally and partner. It is also an opportunity for them to continue to gain influence in Latin America and continue to change world geopolitics in favor of an anti-U.S. axis.
An eventual presidency for Lopez Obrador will mean major conflict with the Trump administration. Along with other serious consequences for Mexico, Trump will escalate his attacks on us.
Behind the Scenes
The withdrawal of Margarita Zavala gives Ricardo Anaya a leap forward.*
*Editor’s note: Margarita Zavala de Calderón is a Mexican lawyer and politician. She is the wife of former Mexican President Mexico Felipe Calderón and served as first lady. Ricardo Anaya Cortés, is a Mexican lawyer and politician, and a member and former president of the National Action Party. Anaya and Lopez Obrador are running for president in the July 1, 2018 Mexican election.