For years, the United States has had wonderful relationships with its allies. However, thanks to a Trump White House our relationship with allies is slowly crumbling.
After a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the president has canceled his trip to the US, which was planned for March. CNN reported:
‘Peña Nieto was tentatively planning the trip for March, a White House official said, but the official confirmed to CNN that the trip was put on hold following the phone call, which took place on February 20.’
So, what in the world could lead to such a cancellation and breakdown of diplomacy? Trump and Peña Nieto’s conversation turned to Trump’s great border wall, and the Mexican president refused to budge on the idea that Mexico would actually pay for the wall. The Washington Post reported:
‘One Mexican official said Trump “lost his temper.” But U.S. officials described him instead as being frustrated and exasperated, saying Trump believed it was unreasonable for Peña Nieto to expect him to back off his crowd-pleasing campaign promise of forcing Mexico to pay for the wall.’
Well, of course he needs Peña Nieto to pay for the wall! He can’t get Congress to give him the budget, and he can’t let the Trumpers down. Maybe he should think before he makes astounding promises such as building a barrier between an ally and making them pay for it.
Peña Nieto also has political reasons for his refusal to budge. In July, the Mexican presidential election will be held.
The former Mexican ambassador, Arturo Sarukhan, commented Trump and Peña Nieto were backed into a corner thanks to Trump’s promise.
‘The problem is that President Trump has painted himself, President Peña Nieto and the bilateral relationship into a corner. Even from the get-go, the idea of Mexico paying for the wall was never going to fly. His relationship with Mexico isn’t strategically driven. It’s not even business; it’s personal, driven by motivations and triggers, and that’s a huge problem. It could end up with the U.S. asking itself, “Who lost Mexico?”‘
That’s how damaging Trump’s demands are. We could lose our neighboring ally.
Honestly, Trump growing “frustrated” with the Mexican president probably resulted in Trump calling him a “bad hombre” and a “rapist drug dealer” considering that’s what Trump has literally said about Mexican immigrants.
A week after his inauguration, Trump spoke to Peña Nieto and said this about the wall.
‘The fact is, we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall. I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period….If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.’
However, the Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray has tried to say relations are good between the US and Mexico. He commented:
‘I think in many ways the relationship today is more fluid. It’s closer than it was with previous administrations, which might be surprising to some people, but that’s a fact of life.’
Right. Relations are great. That’s why the presidents both called off a trip to meet with each other. That makes total sense.
Let’s face it. Trump’s tendency to make far-reaching promises that are almost impossible to fulfill are going to destroy the US relationship with its ally Mexico if it hasn’t already. Trump’s diplomatic style will also continue to degrade the relationships the US has with its other allies – allies we absolutely need in this tumultuous time. All we can do as the American people is apologize for Trump and hope the people of other countries don’t see us all in a negative light.
Featured image by Filipe Trueba/Getty Images.