Skip to main content

Latin American Business Lopez Obrador says Mexico doesn’t want trade war with U.S., though it ‘could win’

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes part in a rally in Tijuana, Mexico, on June 8, 2019.

Jorge Duenes/Reuters

Mexico could win a trade war with the United States but it is a war Mexico doesn’t want because it would take too heavy a toll, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday.

Lopez Obrador spoke at an event with military officials in the Mexican capital where he sketched out plans to deploy members of a newly created National Guard to better enforce the border with Guatemala in a bid to make good on a migration deal he made earlier this month with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lopez Obrador said the deal was positive because it removed Trump’s threat of across-the-board tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States if Mexico’s government did not significantly reduce the flow of U.S.-bound asylum seekers.

Story continues below advertisement

But in a rare instance of chest-thumping for the Mexican president, who has consistently sought to lower tensions with Trump, Lopez Obrador insisted Mexico could come out on top of such a trade conflict with its northern neighbour.

“We’re going to have good results (with the National Guard deployment) and this moves us away from the threat of the start of a trade war that isn’t advisable, because we could win it, but we don’t want the war,” Lopez Obrador said.

The migration deal Mexico struck on June 7 with the United States commits the Mexican government to contain the numbers of mostly Central American migrants within 45 days. If Trump determines that Mexico’s efforts are insufficient, he has said he would consider reviving the tariff threat.

Lopez Obrador did not mention the deadline or offer details on how he would reduce migrant numbers, but he said a trade war with the United States would be economically damaging.

“It would be like winning a pyrrhic battle,” he said, “where you win, but many things are left on the field, your strength very much weakened despite the victory.”

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter