Leftist wins Mexican election, posing NAFTA questions
In the latest sign of the populist trend sweeping the world, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been described as a leftist but whose party is new, won the presidential election in Mexico on Sunday, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications have reported.
Initial analyses have focused not on agriculture but on what impact he may have on Mexico’s oil industry, which was nationalized but has recently allowed foreign contracts, and what his relationship with President Donald Trump will be.
But NAFTA critics have said that the trade arrangement, which has resulted in massive exports of U.S. corn and meat to Mexico, destroyed the Mexican corn industry that was dominated by small farmers. NAFTA also resulted in the development of the Mexican avocado industry, which economists regard as a great success, but that environmentalists question.
In December, the Los Angeles Times reported that López Obrador pledged to help Mexican farmers and ranchers compete with cheap imports from the U.S., promising subsidies, low-cost fertilizers and set prices for some crops. “In short, we are going to produce the food we consume in Mexico,” he said.
In terms of his relationship with Trump and the United States, López Obrador has told his supporters that while maintaining a relationship of friendship and cooperation with the U.S. is important, “we will not accept the mistreatment of migrants, or racist, hegemonic or arrogant attitudes,” the Los Angeles Times said in December.