Mexico's Bargaining Position in the NAFTA Negotiations Will Likely Improve Now That Mexicans have Elected Manuel Lopez Obrador President of Mexico--in a Landslide.

 Photo thanks to NPR

Photo thanks to NPR

From Keith Laing in The Detroit News

Washington — The election of a new leftist president in Mexico has scrambled already-fraught negotiations with the United States about potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

After a campaign in which he frequently used President Donald Trump as a foil, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico on Sunday by a 52.9 percent to 22.5 percent margin. He will take office Dec. 1. 

The election of a populist who has been critical of Trump’s NAFTA demands has added another complication to talks that have already taken longer than expected and been roiled by tariff threats from the Trump administration. Auto industry observers and trade experts say it will be difficult for Mexico’s new president to strike a quick deal with Trump after waging a heated campaign. 

Trump and López Obrador spoke by telephone for a half-hour following the election in a call that the U.S. president said was “a great conversation.” 

“We talked about border security,” Trump told reporters in Washington on Monday. “We talked about trade. We talked about NAFTA. We talked about a separate deal, just Mexico and the United States. We had a lot of good conversation. I think the relationship will be a very good one. We’ll see what happens, but I really do believe it’s going to be a very good one.”  Continue reading