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President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, Washington, July 8, 2020 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Trump Has Exposed the Hollow Vision of an Integrated North America

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Edward Alden is filling in for Kimberly Ann Elliott.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador went to Washington last week to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump and celebrate this month’s official launch of the updated and rebranded North American Free Trade Agreement, now the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Critics of Lopez Obrador, including former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan, called the visit “a colossal error, electorally, diplomatically and strategically.” His supporters said Mexico has little choice but to curry favor with Trump despite the insults he has hurled at the country and his determination to build a wall across the southern border. In the face of unrelenting pressure from Trump, AMLO—as Lopez Obrador is popularly known—has protected his country from a crippling trade war by backing away from his own pledges to take on Trump, and even deploying Mexican troops to the border to crack down on Central American asylum-seekers. ...

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