Nation & World

U.S. political, financial leaders were expecting an AMLO victory

Andrés Manuel López Obrador speaks after casting his vote on July 1. His victory based on a populist message was largely expected.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador speaks after casting his vote on July 1. His victory based on a populist message was largely expected. Agencia EFE

The polls were right on the money: The third time was a charm for populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador as Mexican voters decided to put the nation of 128 million souls.

The 64-year-old former mayor México City who left that post with approval ratings above 85 percent was declared the winner within 30 minutes after the polls closed on Sunday.

Thus, it didn’t take long for people to make their thoughts known.

Of course, what international event goes undetected by President Donald J. Trump?

On a Sunday morning television program, the president said he thought AMLO (as López Obrador is known) will be “fine.” However, Trump said that if negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) don’t work out, “if they’re not fine, I’m going to tax their cars coming into America, and that’s the big one.”

Of course, Trump was all diplomatic on Sunday when he tweeted: “I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!”

The financial markets have prepared for an AMLO win.

“I think out of the gate he will be looking at providing relief to the lower classes, and I think you are unlikely to see austerity and more likely to see reductions to the VAT that have hurt people at the bottom,” Vladimir Signorelli, founder of top-down investment research firm Bretton Woods, told Forbes magazine.

“In a certain respect, Trump and AMLO are on the same page that the dependence of cheap labor does not really benefit the society of Mexico. NAFTA, to AMLO, thinks its been a trade deal for the elites. I think they both understand that. You might see wage increases under AMLO, especially if you have a weakening peso. It’s a must. I’m optimistic. This is not Mexico’s Hugo Chavez,” he says about the late Venezuelan president. Forbes magazine

Shannon K. O’Neil, a México expert at the Council on Foreign Affairs, told Newsweek: “México is not Venezuela—it boasts a diversified economy based on exports and led by advanced manufacturing; oil represents less than 10 percent of its economy. And AMLO is not Chavez. He is a distinctly Mexican nationalist populist.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to México Roberta Jacobson told CNN that based on her discussions with AMLO, he has “emphasized the importance of his relationship with the U.S. and that it be positive.”

“That they’re going to work hard on that; which does not mean it will be easier than with the current (Mexican) government. number of issues on which it will be difficult or even harder,” said Jacobson. “He has the leftist credentials to be able to stand up politely.”

Former Congressman Joaquín Castro, who also served as mayor of San Antonio, tweeted: “Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on winning the presidency of Mexico. I hope the years ahead will bring a stronger, closer relationship between our nations.”