‘Winning’: They might not like it, but Mexico finally engages with the administration on Trump’s terms

They have no other choice.

Despite tensions between the United States and its neighbor to the south, Mexican officials continue to curry favor and keep the lines of communication open with President Donald Trump and his team.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. President Donald J. Trump

No fewer than three cabinet members of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have visited the White House just within the last week, despite Trump’s claims that Mexico will eventually pay for a border wall between our two countries and our trade agreement with them is one-sided and needs revising.

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The reality of the situation was best summed up by a Mexican presidential hopeful who also visited Washington, D.C. last week.

“If we didn’t consider this relationship important, this room wouldn’t be full,” said Margarita Zavala who is also a former Mexican first lady, at the Atlantic Council Tuesday, according to The Hill.

She added that the open door policy between the two countries (apart from immigration) has strengthened relations.

“The United States is becoming part of Mexico and Mexico is becoming part of the United States,” she said.

Mexico’s next presidential election will be held next year.

Another presidential hopeful, left-wing front-runner Andrés Manuel López Abrader, is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C. next week.

Following a meeting Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had Friday with Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, the two exhibited a friendly tone.

“These discussions are the beginning of our work together on day-to-day issues that arise from our close relationship,” Ross at a press conference.

Not all visits, however, were cordial. The Hill reported:

Newly installed Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray took a last-minute trip to Washington this week to air grievances over the Trump administration’s immigration policies. He met with some of Trump’s top officials at the White House – National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster, senior adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn.

 

“It’s important to underline that we’ve always had great openness from the American government toward Mexico’s positions,” Vinegary told reporters after the meeting. “We have differences that are clear, that are public, that are notorious.”

And Zavala said she’s seen an increase in tension in U.S.-Mexico relations in the 20-plus years following the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, an agreement Trump has said he wants to re-negotiate.

“Since [the 1980s] I hadn’t felt what you can now feel in Mexico,” she said.

And it’s no surprise that Mexico wants to firm up its relations with the United States.

Folks on social media agreed.

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