Next month, Mexico’s most powerful state is holding gubernatorial elections. The establishment party is locked in a dead heat with the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) candidate Delfina Gomez. The knives are out against her. Should Gomez win in June, it will set the stage for the next 12 months where Morena A-Lister Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, better known as Amlo, takes on the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), led by president Enrique Pena Nieto. Amlo is leading in the polls for the presidency next year. Gomez could put him firmly in the pole position.
Herein lies the problem: assuming NAFTA negotiations are not completed by then, and assuming Amlo is the front runner and wins, Washington has a problem. Amlo is no fan of NAFTA either. There is the real potential for a stalemate.
If Gomez wins, Washington should take heed and hammer out a workable timeline for a NAFTA do-over soon, but so far there seems to be no hurry. If negotiations get stuck between presidencies, everyone could end up going back to square one. Amlo is the Joker to Trump’s Batman.