Pena Nieto Sees Trump Easing Mexico Stance If Elected, Aide Says

  • Any U.S. president would need to work with Mexico: Guzman
  • Pena Nieto chief of staff highlights Mexico benefits for U.S.

Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto expects Republican candidate Donald Trump or any other candidate elected president to work with the Latin American nation, his chief of staff said Tuesday.

Pena Nieto, 49, is taking a medium and long term view, looking past anti-Mexico campaign rhetoric to a U.S. relationship based on institutional cooperation, Francisco Guzman told reporters in Mexico City. Asked about the potential for a Trump presidency, Guzman said the Pena Nieto administration believes the billionaire would soften his stance and that any U.S. leader would find it hard to ignore the economic benefits of working with Mexico, the third-largest U.S. trade partner. Guzman avoided referring to Trump by name.

Trump, leading the field of Republican presidential candidates, has called for
building a wall on the U.S. southern border, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. He’s also pledged to place tariffs on Mexico to pay for the wall if the nation refuses to fund it willingly.

"Anyone who becomes president of the United States will have to work with Mexico," Guzman said. "It would be difficult to reverse 20 years of integration."

Pena Nieto’s predecessor, Felipe Calderon, last week called Trump’s campaign racist, while another former president, Vicente Fox, called Trump crazy and an embarrassment to his party. On a trip to Mexico City last week, Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said some of the rhetoric from the presidential candidates is "dangerous, damaging and incredibly ill advised" and doesn’t represent the view of most Americans.

Trade between the U.S. and Mexico has grown sixfold to more than $530 billion in goods since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994.

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