How will Mexico's new president shake up NAFTA negotiations?

Muriel Colon
July 4, 2018

The peso fell early Monday after Mexico handed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the presidency in a landslide victory, shifting the country's government away from establishment politics and to the left for the first time in decades.

A projection based on a vote count in 7,800 representative polling stations confirms the victory of Lopez Obrador, National Electoral Institute President Lorenzo Cordova said.

Mexico's main stock index and the peso were both down Monday, but analysts at Banco Base attributed the currency's drop to broader global movement in favour of the US dollar and speculation about USA interest rates. Newspaper El Financiero's exit poll gave him 49 percent of the vote to 27 percent for conservative Ricardo Anaya and 18 percent for ruling-party candidate Jose Antonio Meade.

She said Lopez Obrador was also weighing decriminalising drug consumption and launching a truth-and-reconciliation process.

Lopez Obrador has pledged to not let Mexico become a "pinata" battered by the United States and rejects Trump's plan for a border wall.

"When a wall is built to segregate people or when the word "foreigner" is used to insult, disparage and discriminate our fellow men, humanity, intelligence and history are being insulted", said the president-elect, who will take office in December, in a speech in Los Angeles a year ago explaining the need to "counteract" Trump's strategy.

The National Electoral Institute said 98,854 of them mailed ballots by Saturday, more than twice the amount of Mexicans overseas that voted in the last election.

Now, Trudeau is reaching out to the new president in the hopes of maintaining a united approach with Mexico when talks do resume with the United States.


President Trump says he is looking forward to a good relationship with Mexico's new president-elect. He later joined the Party of the Democratic Revolution and more recently formed his own party, the National Regeneration Movement - known as MORENA.

Supporters of Lopez-Obrador celebrated wildly in Mexico City. But it does represent a major shift - representing the largest margin of victory by any candidate in Mexican history.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday the secretary-general "congratulates the people of Mexico for the civic exercise of participation in the largest elections that the country has celebrated".

Investors are concerned that under Lopez Obrador, the privatization of the energy industry will be rolled back, and spending on social programs will push the country into debt.

According to a poll by Oraculus, Lopez Obrador was favored by 48.1 percent of voters. The talks have been stalled over the Trump administration demands for higher US content and a "sunset clause" in the 1994 trade agreement.

Polls are beginning to close across much of Mexico or Sunday's presidential election.

Mexico's new president will have to deal with his USA counterpart, President Donald Trump, along with his threats to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement and his calls for the construction of a border wall.

Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, 60, is running as an independent. "All this is going to end ... we can not have a rich government and a poor people", he said. But Duncan also said that many people are unsure of how Lopez Obrador will be able to provide what he has promised.

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