What the U.S. election means for Canada and Mexico

10/13/2020

Source: The Washington Post

It’s been a tricky time to be an American neighbor. President Trump announced his candidacy for the White House in 2015 with a crude attack on Mexico, casting migrants from the country as interloping “rapists,” and later vowed to make Mexico pay for a wall on the southern U.S. border. In 2018, Trump wheeled on the country to the north, invoking national security concerns to slap tariffs on certain Canadian exports. He branded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “dishonest” and “very weak,” while bullying his way to a renegotiation of the free trade agreement linking the continent’s economies.

In the final year of his term, Trump arguably has better relations with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador than with Trudeau. In July, López Obrador came to the White House to celebrate the signing of Trump’s rebranded version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It was not markedly different from the treaty hashed out more than two decades ago, but it gave Trump another set-piece moment. Trudeau avoided the occasion, but López Obrador made it the first foreign outing of his presidency, no matter the rebukes of critics on both sides of the border.

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