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Mexico's presidential frontrunner Sheinbaum discusses Trump, migration

Maya Averbuch, Carolina Millan and Andrea Navarro, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s presidential frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum is confident she’ll have a good relationship with Donald Trump should they both win their respective elections.

“We have very strong economic integration” with the U.S., she told Bloomberg News in an interview on the sidelines of a banking convention held in Acapulco, Mexico. “We’re now the principal trading partner, and that requires us to have a good relationship.” She said the same would apply to U.S. President Joe Biden if he wins re-election.

Sheinbaum, a former Mexico City mayor from the ruling Morena party, has positioned herself as a natural successor to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who surprised many by forging a bond with Trump despite his sometimes vicious rhetoric about Mexican immigrants. She holds a commanding lead of 58% of voting intention over opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez ahead of the June 2 election, according to Bloomberg’s Poll Tracker.

Here are the key takeaways from the conversation:

On migration

While Trump and Biden have both pushed for tougher restrictions on migration across the border with Mexico, Sheinbaum said the best way to keep people from leaving their homes is to cooperate on economic development. That’s a reflection of Lopez Obrador’s stance.

 

Biden has “said that people do not necessarily migrate for pleasure, but for economic or other reasons,” she said. So as long as people in Central America and other places want to leave for better opportunities, “the long-term vision is that there should be investment and support in those areas.”

She said she would press the argument that migration would naturally decline “if a part of what is destined to war investment in the US were destined to investment for peace.”

Sheinbaum said development — and specifically job creation — in Mexico’s southeast would help contain the flow of migration. “But ultimately, migrants want to go to the US,” she said.

On infrastructure

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