On Sunday, President Donald Trump congratulated Mexico’s new president, a left-wing populist who has vowed to take a tougher stance against the U.S. President.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who beat his political opponent from the ruling party, Jose Antonio Meade, has publicly expressed his criticism of Trump for his plans to erect a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico, The Hill reports.
Trump, nonetheless, responded kindly to the newly-elected president after his decisive win, extending his congratulations to Obrador’s for his victory.
“Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him,” President Trump tweeted. “There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!”
López Obrador on his part has promised supporters that Mexico “will never be the piñata of any foreign government,” but said, regardless, he wanted “a friendly relationship with the government of the United States, but not one of subordination.”
Relations between the United States and Mexico have drastically deteriorated under Trump, whose relationship with current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has been particularly tense. The main reason have been President Trump’s repeated attacks on Mexican immigrants and his vow to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it.
Things were further worsened by Trump’s decision to impose new tariffs on Mexican imports, which Mexico swiftly responded to by imposing corresponding retaliatory measures on U.S. goods.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been another sticking point, with Trump threatening to scrap if Mexico doesn’t agree to concessions imposed upon it by the U.S. The President on Sunday said he would wait until after the midterms to sign a new NAFTA deal.