Joe Biden receives this Tuesday at the White House the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorin search of palliatives to the inflation and the migration crisisand incidentally iron out the rough edges of a relationship that is far from idyllic.
López Obrador’s snub at Biden in June at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, which he did not attend in protest of the White House‘s refusal to invite the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, has disappointed the class American politics.
López Obrador, pragmatic, downplays it. “It is a meeting to reaffirm our commitment to work together for the benefit of our peoples”, Said the president on Monday, who before meeting with Biden scheduled a working breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris.
The visit is tinged with mourning for the tragedy of the more than 50 migrants killed in a trailer in Texas, of which more than half were Mexican. A drama that sets the tone for dialogue: migration and security.
A great supporter of “development cooperation programs”, not only in Mexico, but also in Central America, López Obrador will probably ask Biden for more temporary worker visasespecially in the agricultural sector, and investments in some projects to stop migrant caravans.
A US government official who requested anonymity agrees that addressing irregular migration requires “open additional legal avenues” that can boost economic growth and “pursue other legal avenues such as refugee resettlement and family reunification”.
But he added that the meeting will be much more focused “on cooperation and implementation” of agreements “and not so much on specific numerical commitments.”
And it is that as the mid-term legislative elections in November approach, in which the Democrats could lose control of Congress, Biden cannot afford to give the impression of an open border policy.
During his tenure, each month more than 200,000 people who tried to enter the country were sent back, invoking the Stay in Mexico program, under which asylum seekers are expelled to await the resolution of their cases on the other side of the border. border, or a public health rule applied since the pandemic.
The two leaders will have to coordinate because this could change since the Supreme Court gave Biden one of the few joys in recent weeks, authorizing him to end Stay in Mexico, one of his campaign promises.
There will be announcements, reported another government official who also did not want to reveal his identity.
“We hope to announce joint actions to improve border infrastructure” and “improve police cooperation to interrupt the flow of fentanyl,” he added, echoing the importance of border security, not only because of drug trafficking, but also people and weapons.
“Of the old school”
Beyond migration, the issue that really worries citizens is curbing inflation, of more than 6% in the United States and almost 8% in Mexico, and warding off the specter of recession.
The inflation is due to bottlenecks in the supply chain and the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, which will also be discussed according to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
And, according to López Obrador, to the lack of production. “How is it produced, if there is no workforce?” he asked on Monday, referring to the labor shortage in the United States.
For Biden “the relationship with Mexico is a priority”, said the official. A priority that forces him to avoid disagreements, because there are plenty of reasons for tension.
The energy reform promoted by López Obrador blocks billions of dollars of investments and it is likely to trigger some controversy in the framework of the North American trade agreement T-MEC.
And on the 4th of July, the national holiday in the United States, The Mexican president came out in defense of the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assangeprosecuted for a massive leak of confidential documents.
“If they take him to the United States and sentence him to the maximum sentence and to die in prison, we must start the campaign to dismantle the statue of liberty,” said the president.
In any case, Biden “prefers to have him close than far away” and both he and López Obrador “are old-school politicians who like to sit face to face, look each other in the eye and have a negotiation,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, in a forum held by the US think tank Wilson Center.
After the meeting, López Obrador will pay tribute to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and human rights defender Martin Luther King in the afternoon. On Wednesday he will hold a meeting with businessmen.
(With information from AFP)
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