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Security & Strategic Review - August 2020

López Obrador opts to treat Trump with pragmatism

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has conducted a much-anticipated official visit to the US, where he met his counterpart, Donald Trump. In the past López Obrador has strongly condemned Trump’s anti-Mexico and anti-immigrant rhetoric and said he would stand up to him. There was speculation that the two leaders would openly clash and thus damage diplomatic relations. In the end, López Obrador erred on the side of pragmatism and avoided antagonising Trump during his visit, cementing the bilateral relationship. But López Obrador’s failure to raise any criticisms and his public praising of Trump was seen by many as taking it too far – a political faux pas that could affect López Obrador’s image at home and even relations with the US in the medium term.

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