Mexico's President-elect Peña Nieto and Obama met yesterday and sang the same tune on many bilateral agenda items. Can their common goals survive their respective political systems?
• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, bloggingsbyboz.com. The views expressed are the author's own.
According to El Universal, President Obama started his meeting with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto by saying, "Let's go beyond the security agenda. We want to prioritize the topics of infrastructure, trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, energy and immigration." That nicely lines up with the areas of focus that EPN and his team had set out.
Obama praised EPN's "ambitious reform agenda" and made it clear that his administration wants to see some of the proposed reforms passed because, "what happens in Mexico has an impact on our society."
Mexico's president-elect also echoed some White House talking points by emphasizing the importance both leaders have in creating jobs. He also fully supported Obama's position on comprehensive immigration reform and said Mexico would do its part to create a safe and modern border.
Yesterday's meeting showed the two leaders starting the relationship off on the right foot, practically tripping over each other's talking points to agree on their agenda. That's a great sign, but this was an easy and fairly scripted meeting. Passing their common agenda through their respective political systems and implementing the policies successfully are going to be harder.
– James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.