In a Post-Trump Era, U.S.-Mexico Relations Have Been Turned On Their Head

By Sabrina Rodriguez

Joe Biden is facing a balancing act in how to respond to Andrés Manuel López Obrador's criticism, said AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth to Politico.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has rarely shied away from criticizing the U.S. government and, specifically, President Joe Biden.

That was evident on Tuesday when López Obrador sat next to his American counterpart at the White House and spent nearly 30 minutes rattling off thinly veiled barbs over everything from U.S. immigration policy to gas prices along with “grievances that are not really easy to forget with time or with good wishes.”…

“López Obrador isn’t doing us any favors. It’s in his interest, too,” said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the think tank Council of the Americas. “It’s not a good look for Mexico that [migrants are increasingly] trying to leave the country. And it’s not a good look that Central Americans are traveling through Mexico unhindered to get to the U.S. What does that say about your security activities and your ability to control your territory?”

Farnsworth added that Biden is facing a balancing act in how to respond to López Obrador’s criticism, noting that both countries need to always maintain close cooperation but letting repeated slights pass sends the wrong signal to the region. Multiple diplomats throughout Latin America have taken notice of how Biden has responded to leaders who have been vocally critical of him, Farnsworth added.

It sends the message that “the best way to get the U.S.’ attention is to treat us poorly and then you’ll get an invitation to the White House,” Farnsworth said. “That’s the wrong incentive.”

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