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Home News President Biden arrives in Mexico for summit; Jill Biden joins go to

President Biden arrives in Mexico for summit; Jill Biden joins go to

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MEXICO CITY President Biden is embarking on the primary go to to Mexico by an American president in 9 years, a visit that comes at a second of surging commerce however rising U.S. considerations over irregular migration and a historic variety of deaths from drug overdoses.

On the eve of Monday’s summit, Biden and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador projected a picture of camaraderie using collectively within the U.S. chief’s limousine from the airport into the Mexican capital. In latest days, the Mexican chief supplied essential assist for 2 of Washington’s priorities — signing on to a U.S. plan that can ship extra border-crossers again into Mexico, and capturing Ovidio Guzmán, an alleged fentanyl kingpin and the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.

For all the great will on show, although, there may be appreciable friction between the neighbors. The Mexican president, a longtime leftist icon popularly generally known as AMLO, has adopted nationalist vitality insurance policies which have triggered a serious struggle along with his companions within the North American free-trade settlement. Washington has additionally lobbied López Obrador to change his insurance policies favoring fossil fuels over inexperienced vitality.

Andrew Rudman, director of the Mexico Institute on the Wilson Middle, stated that in latest a long time, “U.S. and Mexican presidents at all times shared a standard imaginative and prescient of the way in which the world was imagined to be,” significantly on financial points like free commerce. “AMLO doesn’t share that view.”

How the US misplaced a key ally in Mexico as fentanyl took off

Monday’s bilateral assembly might be adopted by a “Three Amigos” summit on Tuesday together with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The session is anticipated to incorporate discussions on commerce and the best way to strengthen North American provide chains as producers shift manufacturing from China because of political tensions and fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

First woman Jill Biden joined her husband on the journey however was anticipated to pursue her personal actions targeted on U.S.-Mexico cultural connections and girls’s empowerment. Her schedule included an occasion Monday with Mexican college students concerned in an NFL flag-football program that promotes gender equality for ladies.

President Biden has sought to broaden the connection with Mexico past migration, the overwhelming focus throughout the Trump administration. But Biden’s journey to the border on Sunday earlier than the summit — his first since turning into president — signified how the topic has grow to be a prime concern and a political legal responsibility as he prepares to hunt reelection subsequent yr.

Republicans have criticized Biden for the surge in border apprehensions — which jumped to 1.7 million throughout his first yr within the White Home and soared to almost 2.4 million in his second yr. Though final week’s vote for a Home speaker uncovered divisions amongst congressional Republicans, the occasion is essentially united round utilizing its new majority to press the administration on its immigration insurance policies.

Biden’s go to to Mexico is the primary of what might in the end be greater than a half-dozen worldwide journeys in 2023, a ramped-up schedule that displays an elevated give attention to international affairs as a divided Congress makes legislating much less doubtless.

Biden’s new border safety measures embody the enlargement of packages to take away individuals shortly with out letting them search asylum and an settlement with Mexico to just accept the return of tens of hundreds of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Haitians who cross the border into the US with out authorization.

Immigration pivot reveals Biden dealing with the laborious actuality of border politics

López Obrador has emerged as a vital U.S. ally on migration. Within the first 11 months of 2022, his authorities detained 388,611 migrants from Central America and different areas, greater than double the quantity in all of 2019, his first full yr in workplace.

Some analysts have prompt that in response, Biden has soft-pedaled different points. Human rights teams and congressional Democrats have urged him to press López Obrador on his rising use of the Mexican army for historically civilian-led duties, and his efforts to rein in political establishments created as a part of Mexico’s transition to democracy within the Nineteen Nineties.

Roberto Velasco, a senior Overseas Ministry official, denied Mexico sought any quid professional quo for the brand new U.S. settlement. Mexico supported it to “have migration that occurs in a manner that’s orderly, that’s protected, that’s common,” he stated in an interview. He famous {that a} comparable, earlier accord that will permit 24,000 Venezuelans to hunt U.S. asylum — however funnel into Mexico others who had crossed the border with out authorization — resulted in a dramatic drop in apprehensions.

López Obrador’s greatest public request within the run-up to Biden’s go to was that the U.S. chief’s airplane land on the lately opened Felipe Ángeles airport. Opposition politicians have accused López Obrador of losing billions of {dollars} by developing the military-run facility as a substitute of ending one other partially constructed airport that he had alleged was tainted by corruption.

“This isn’t a query of logistics, it’s a political difficulty,” López Obrador stated of his request to Biden, including that his critics would exploit any snub of the little-used airport, positioned removed from downtown Mexico Metropolis.

Luis Rubio, a political analyst, stated the Mexican chief considered the difficulty as “a manner of consolidating his political place” as he tries to make sure his occasion wins the 2024 presidential election.

Along with immigration, drug interdiction is anticipated to be a dominant difficulty in Monday’s summit.

Aides to Biden have argued that, even in a deeply divided Congress, progress could be made on the fentanyl disaster that has led to tens of hundreds of overdose deaths. With a lot of the lethal substance trafficked into the US from Mexico, Biden faces bipartisan stress to crack down on drug smuggling.

Washington faltered as fentanyl gripped America

Former president Donald Trump, who’s working to disclaim Biden a second time period, launched a video assertion Thursday pledging to cooperate with Mexico in order that “the drug kingpins and harsh traffickers won’t ever sleep soundly once more.”

An administration official, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate non-public deliberations, stated Biden’s White Home has labored carefully with Mexico “to grab file ranges of fentanyl” and arrest smugglers.

But Mexico has discovered few labs the place the narcotic is made. U.S. officers have urged Mexico to extend its safety spending, which is among the many lowest of nations within the Group for Financial Cooperation and Improvement. For its half, Mexico is urging the US to crack down on the unlawful export of weapons, which have fueled historic ranges of felony violence on this nation.

The summit happens as bilateral commerce is surging, thanks partially to U.S. firms transferring factories to Mexico from China because of political tensions and transport delays. U.S.-Mexico commerce elevated by 19 p.c within the first 11 months of 2022, in line with U.S. Census Bureau figures.

U.S. enterprise organizations fear that such “near-shoring” could possibly be constrained by López Obrador’s insurance policies favoring state-run vitality firms over non-public funding. The USA and Canada have filed a proper grievance that these insurance policies violate the North American commerce settlement, launching a course of that would result in sanctions in opposition to Mexico. López Obrador says his vitality choices mirror Mexican sovereignty.

Barack Obama was the final U.S. president to go to Mexico, attending a gathering in 2014 with the 2 different North American heads of presidency. The assembly, colloquially generally known as the Three Amigos summit, didn’t happen throughout Trump’s time period, as he harangued Mexico and Canada over commerce and different points.

Amanda Coletta in Toronto contributed to this report.

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