MCALLEN, RGV – With Mexican general elections scheduled for July 1, Congressman Henry Cuellar says there is a chance for Mexico to have a president very much like Donald Trump.
One of the candidates for the Mexican general elections is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party.
According to the website of America’s Society (AS) and Council of the Americas (COA), Obrador is taking lead in the polls.
With the recent tariffs declared on both sides of the border it is important to know about where NAFTA renegotiations may be heading once the Mexican election is over.
“[Obrador’s] advisors have told me to meet with him and spend some time with him. [They say] he’s not as radical as he’s painted out to be. His advisors have told me he would be willing to work with the United States on [NAFTA],” Cuellar said.
“But let’s see if he gets elected and then let’s see what happens after he gets his cabinet together. We could very well likely have a Mexican version of Donald Trump on the Mexican side. It’s a possibility.”
However, regardless of who wins the election, Cuellar told the Rio Grande Guardian he hopes the future president of Mexico understands NAFTA is important for both countries. With the way negotiations are going now, the uncertainty is already affecting the two nations.
“There are less Mexicanos coming over to the stores, to the malls and to the hotels so it’s affecting all of us. We have to deal with this uncertainty and it’s been a year and a half under President Trump and we still haven’t got this done,” Cuellar said.
“President Trump needs to understand that this uncertainty is not good for the border and it’s not good for the economies. It’s not only on trade, but it affects legitimate retail loss as we are seeing here and in other border towns.”
Cuellar made his comments in an interview with the Rio Grande Guardian following a news conference he called about the Trump Administration’s policy of separating asylum seeking Central American parents from their children if they enter the U.S. without documentation. The news conference was held at the offices of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story shows Andrés Manuel López Obrador, leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party, waves after giving a speech to supporters in Tlapanoloya, Mexico on Jan. 25, 2017. (Photo: Henry Romero/Reuters)