Trump Has Exposed the Hollow Vision of an Integrated North America

Trump Has Exposed the Hollow Vision of an Integrated North America
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).

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.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau skipped the trip, citing “scheduling conflicts.” Canadian leaders rarely miss the opportunity to advance their country’s interests in Washington, but public opinion left him little choice. His government has closed its border since March to nearly all Americans in order to keep out the threat of exploding numbers of COVID-19 infections. Crossings at the U.S.-Canada land border are down 98 percent from a year ago. More than 80 percent of Canadians want to keep it that way, despite billions of dollars in lost revenues from U.S. tourists and business travelers who are no longer going north.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.