By Nuran YILDIRIM - TDO - Luis Videgaray, a former Finance Minister of Mexico who was forced to resign after arranging Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico, has been named foreign minister.
President Enrique Pena Nieto considered Luis Videgaray as the most trusted name who can court stronger relations between Mexico and the new US president.
Pena Nieto made a statement on television and said “With the change of government in the United States on 20 January, the instructions for secretary Videgaray is to accelerate dialogue and contacts so that from the first day the bases for building a constructive work relationship can be established.” Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray resigned from his previous cabinet position after Donald Trump visited Mexico in September.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in September.
Mexican president Nieto has sent invitations to the Republican candidate and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While Trump announced late Tuesday on Twitter and confirmed the invitation which made by the office of Mr. Peña Nieto, Clinton’s response to the invitation is still unknown. Trump tweeted that he had “accepted the invitation of President Enrique Peña Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow” and Nieto said that he “believe in dialogue to protect Mexican interests in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans wherever they are.”
Indeed Trump’s trip to Mexico represents a dramatic improvement on an issue which is at the center of his election campaign. Trump, who made immigration one of the major issues during his campaign launch, proposed to build a wall along the US/Mexico border in order to prevent illegal immigration. Using vastly racist discourse, he said that only the rapists and the murderers were coming from the Mexico. Republican presidential nominee Trump also proposed if he elected president, he will send back Syrian refugees and ban Muslim immigration to the US.
Additionally, Trump said that he will persuade Mexico to pay for a wall along the southern border of the US, but Nieto made a statement in March and said that there was no way Mexico would pay for a border wall. At the same time, the meeting comes only months after Nieto compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. Nieto described Trump’s rhetoric as strident and said “that’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in.”
Indeed Pena Nieto was subjected to heavy criticism by the Mexican public after this move. Additionally, Trump’s trip caused further degradation of public support for Nieto; it may also bring Nieto into the middle of US elections.
A week after Trump met Mexican President Nieto, it was alleged in Mexico that Economy Minister Videgaray had the idea of inviting Trump to Mexico, and Videgaray was exposed to criticism for the slow growth of the country's economy. Thus, Videgaray resigned. Later Trump made a statement on Twitter and told about Videgaray as “a brilliant finance minister and wonderful man.”
On the other hand, Trump's election as president is not particularly positive for Mexico. In the past few weeks, Ford Motors has announced that it will open a $ 1.6 billion factory for sedan production in Mexico to expand its plant in Michigan. However, as Trump pointed out in his election campaign, he plans to halt economic expansion, particularly in Mexico and China, and increase industrial production and employment in the US.
In this context, after Ford announced the Mexican project, Trump called on Ford officials via Twitter, saying, “General Motors send Chevrolet Cruze to local shops without paying anything. Produce it in USA or pay the taxes’’ In response, the company's CEO, Mark Fields, announced at a press conference that it planned the cancellation of the plant in Mexico. Instead of the plan, the US announced it would invest $ 700 million in Michigan State.
Following the announcement, the Mexican peso lost 0.8 percent against the US dollar, while Ford's per share stood at 3.3 percent in the New York stock market. With the election of Donald Trump as the new US president, the Mexican Peso fell sharply, depreciating by 10.9% against the dollar.