POLITICS

Mexican government prepares for 'Trump Emergency'

Mexico is preparing for the "Trump Emergency," as the government of Enrique Peña Nieto has called the presumptive Republican presidential nomination of Donald Trump, which is seen as a threat by analysts and the business sector here.

"Here there is a Mexican government analysis triangle to know how to confront what we've been calling the Trump Emergency," said the assistant secretary for Population, Migration and Migration Affairs within the Government Secretariat, Humberto Roque Villanueva.

Roque is the only official so far to speak out about the withdrawal of all other Republican candidates from the GOP race, leaving Trump as the party's likely White House candidate, a situation that has set off alarm bells in Mexico.

The official expressed concern over the "threat" of a possible Trump victory in the November election after the real estate magnate has called for the deportation from the United States of the more than 11 million undocumented foreigners and the construction of wall along the mutual border to block illegal immigration.

The reality TV star said that, unless the country agreed to pay for the wall along the border, he would stop all remittances from Mexicans in the U.S. to their home country – an economic activity that adds billions of dollars to Mexico's economy every year.

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"I believe Mr. Trump speaks off the top of his head, and doesn't have a clear idea about financial matters or international accords," Roque said, according to Mexico's El Universal newspaper. "We live in a globalized world, and the United States would have to return to a kind of Middle Ages to prohibit remittances or charge tariffs that aren't charged in other parts of the world."

The Mexican government in April named experienced diplomat Carlos Sada as ambassador to Washington, Paulo Carreño as assistant secretary for North America and Carlos Perez Verdia, who had served in that post before Carreño, as coordinator of Peña Nieto's advisors.

In addition, Mexico is seeking to strengthen its role in the United States, its main trading partner.

Proof of that is the visit made this week by Foreign Minister Claudia Ruíz Massieu to California, where she mentioned the need to "reposition" Mexico's image in its northern neighbor and noting the "valuable" contributions of Mexican migrants there.

The Mexican Business Council, or CMA, also expressed concern and claimed that Trump's remarks harm the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"A candidate like Trump, who has been so virulent toward Mexico, against Mexican migrants and who has discredited NAFTA, remains a concern," said CMN president Alejandro Ramirez. 

Not all Mexican officials are surprised about Trump's success, however. 

According to El Universal, the governor of the state of Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón – known universally in Mexico by his nickname, "El Bronco" – shocked Mexico's powerful political parties by winning the governorship as an independent candidate. 

Rodríguez Calderón recently told a gathering of businessmen in Monterrey, "I made a bet that Trump would win ... What is Trump doing? He's taking advantage of anger. Everybody says that he's crazy, but that's what they said about me too."

Based on reporting by EFE.

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