“America First is a fallacy,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter on Thursday (May 30), responding to a White House announcement it was imposing a blanket 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico from June 10.
Lopez Obrador said he wanted to avoid confrontation with the United States and that ideals such as justice and universal brotherhood were more important than borders.
“President Trump: social problems are not resolved with taxes or coercive measures. How can you turn, from one day to the next, the country of fraternity with immigrants of the world into a ghetto, a closed space, where they are stigmatized, mistreated, persecuted, expelled, and cancel the right to justice of those who look to live free of misery through effort and work? The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol,” the letter read.
“With all respect, even though you have the sovereign right to say it, the slogan “America First” is a fallacy because even until the end of time, justice and universal fraternity will prevail above national borders,” Obrador said.
The Mexican president also ordered his foreign minister to travel to Washington on Friday (May 31).
Residents of Mexico City, meanwhile, expressed doubt that President Trump’s tariff threat would do anything to stem the flow of mostly Central American migrants through Mexico.
“It’s not going to work… it’s more of a social issue than an economic issue,” said Paula Sousa.
“I think it’s dangerous for both countries because there is definitely a very strong commercial relationship between them. And I don’t think it’s something that’s convenient for either nation since Mexico needs U.S. industry, just like U.S. industry needs Mexican labor,” said Miguel Angel Sanchez.
Earlier the same day, Mexico’s foreign ministry delivered the text of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to Mexico’s Senate for ratification. The President of Mexico’s Senate said the body would make the pact “a priority.” (REUTERS)