Amanda Lang: Is Trump threatening new tariffs to serve his personal interests?
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he’s optimistic of achieving “good results” from a high-level meeting next week in Washington following U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to levy tariffs on his country.
AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, reiterated recent remarks at a press conference Saturday that he wants to maintain good relations with Trump, calling the U.S. leader his “friend.” However, seeking international arbitration is still an option for his country, he said.
“We don’t want this confrontation with the U.S.,” AMLO said from the Mexican port city of Veracruz. “We are not going to get involved in trade wars or in struggles of hegemony or powers.”
Trump has threatened in the past week to slap a five per cent tariff on all goods from Mexico if the country doesn’t curb an unprecedented surge in migrants over the U.S. southern border. On Wednesday, a Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will meet with his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other officials to attempt to defuse the trade spat.
Mexico has given few details on how it plans to stem the influx of migrants, though AMLO said on Saturday that his country is doing its part. He also made clear Mexico wouldn’t rule out seeking international recourse even though he’s optimistic the two neighbours could resolve the crisis at the border.
“If necessary, we would go to international tribunals as contemplated in the free trade agreement and in the accords of international trade organizations,” he said.