Source: Washington Post
The United States and Mexico have plenty of tough issues to deal with, from the lingering coronavirus pandemic to inflation to the continuing surge of migrants through their mutual border. It would be best for both countries if they could address these issues in an atmosphere of calm and mutual cooperation, with no gratuitous irritations to this vital bilateral relationship.
Unfortunately, such irritation is all too likely as long as Andrés Manuel López Obrador occupies the Mexican presidency. A quirky populist whose worldview centers on restoring what he misperceives as the lost glory of Mexico’s nationalized oil industry, Mr. López Obrador inherited a modified version of the North American Free Trade Agreement that his predecessor had negotiated with President Donald Trump; it took effect on July 1, 2020. And yet Mr. López Obrador has continued to press for greater control over Mexico’s energy markets, to the point where his policies now arguably violate the terms of the revised trade pact, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Biden administration has no choice but to push back.