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In Mexico, the Pompeo delegation analyzes immigration, trade and security



Mr. The López Obrador team presented US officials. UU An action plan on trade, security, migration and development to be delivered to the president

Donald Trump,

said Marcelo Ebrard, who has been named as the next Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico.

Mr. Ebrard said Lopez Obrador's team would wait for Trump to receive the proposal before revealing details. He described the meetings as "frank, respectful and cordial", which resulted in "reasonable optimism".

Mr. Ebrard said that economic development in Central America hit by poverty and violence is key to curbing undocumented migration to the US.

Mr. Pompeo was accompanied by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of National Security

Kirstjen Nielsen

and adviser to the White House

Jared Kushner

They met for the first time with the outgoing president

Enrique Peña Nieto

and then went to the office of Mr. López Obrador, who was elected by a landslide on July 1 and must take office on December 1.

The visit of a US delegation of such high level to discuss migration, trade and security issues shortly after the election underscores the importance of Mexico for the US, said

Andrew Selee,

President of the Migration Policy Institute based in Washington.

Although Trump used Mexico during the past two years as a "sandbag" to increase his voter base, the United States realizes that it is an important country and fears that Mr. López Obrador is not as willing as he is Mr. Peña Nieto will cooperate closely with the US. UU On bilateral issues, Selee added.

Mr. López Obrador has been very critical of Mr. Trump's immigration policies, including his crackdown on undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States. UU He has described the war on drugs backed by the United States as a failure and has proposed an amnesty for some people involved in the cultivation of marijuana and opium. Poppy used to make heroin.

It blames much of Mexico's growing crime, as well as migration from Mexico and Central America, to inequality and poverty, and considers economic development as the way to fight it. He hopes to involve the United States in the regional development efforts.

"We have to address the causes that lead to migration, people move and leave their place of origin out of necessity, not for pleasure," Lopez Obrador said this week announcing the meeting. "We want the migration to be optional, not necessarily."

On the night of his election, Mr. López Obrador said that Mexico would seek good relations with the United States. UU "Always based on mutual respect and the defense of our migrants" to live there.

Since speaking with Mr. Trump by telephone after his electoral victory, Mr. López Obrador has sounded conciliatory.

Expressed gratitude for the "respectful attitude" of Mr. Trump and the US government. UU The visit is an indication that Mr. Trump is receptive to the proposal to base the relationship on development cooperation, he said.

The Mexican governments during the last two decades have done everything possible to stay on good terms with the USA. UU and cooperation has continued under Mr. Peña Nieto despite disagreements over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the border wall and the Trump administration's immigration campaign. The two leaders canceled planned meetings twice due to disputes on the wall.

"I imagine that the Americans have a very clear agenda, and Central American migration is at the center of the agenda," said former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda. "It's a big internal political problem for Trump."

During his campaign last year, Mr. López Obrador toured Mexican communities in cities in the United States such as Los Angeles and New York. He published a book of his speeches collected during the visits titled "Oye Trump" or "Listen up Trump", which described Mr. Trump's immigration policy as "xenophobic" and "racist", and demanded that immigrants receive a deal fair.

In his meeting with the delegation of the United States, Mr. Peña Nieto expressed concern about the separation of families at the United States border and urged the United States. to reunify them quickly, said the presidential press office.

When the American convoy arrived at Mr. López Obrador's offices in the gypsy neighborhood of the capital, small groups of protesters demanded a change in Mr. Trump's immigration policy.

"Children are not criminals! Children are not criminals!" They shouted at the tinted windows of the SUVs that were transporting the US delegation, a reference to Mr. Trump's zero tolerance policy.

"We can be a small group here, but we're making a point," said Ricardo Varona, a 33-year-old software programmer. "For me, it's about leadership and forcing American leaders out of their comfort zone, they need to try a more humane approach to immigrants."

Former US ambassador Roberta Jacobson, who resigned her position in Mexico City earlier this year, said it was unlikely that agreements would emerge for concrete actions of what appeared to be a "meet you" meeting. He added that the meeting could be "a little late for the current government, a little premature for the next."

Trade also occupies an important place in the bilateral relationship as the United States, Mexico and Canada prepare to resume talks to redesign Nafta after a two-month hiatus. The parties were still trapped by issues that included content rules for the automotive sector when the US. UU In June, they imposed tariffs on steel in Mexico and Canada, which caused retaliation against US exports. UU

Mr. López Obrador, who a year ago had called for the suspension of the Nafta negotiations until after the Mexican elections, has recognized the work of the current Mexican negotiating team. "We will accompany them as observers, as support to reach a good agreement, a good treaty." We do not rule out that possibility, "he said earlier this week.

Minister of Economy

Ildefonso Guajardo,

who serves as Mexico's chief trade negotiator, spoke this week with the US Trade Representative. UU

Robert Lighthizer

and said that a meeting could be held in Washington in the last week of July.

"You will not see a big break between the Nafta negotiations under the Peña and Nafta negotiations under Lopez Obrador," said Antonio Ortiz-Mena, senior vice president at the Albright Stonebridge Group strategic advisory firm and member of the original negotiation team. of Naphtha that represented Mexico.

Write to José de Córdoba at jose.decordoba@wsj.com and Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@wsj.com

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