Republican nominee Donald J. Trump’s August 31st meeting with Mexican President Peña Nieto was a big day for the Trump campaign. It gave him an opportunity to showcase his negotiating capabilities at the international level. Specifically, it presented him with a chance to finally discuss Mexico’s payment of the wall with the one person who could make that happen–Nieto himself. The congenial remarks to the press set the tone of a friendly conversation. But, what did the meeting conclude? Who will pay for the wall?
Trump says it wasn’t discussed. The doubt in his diplomatic abilities come from the fact that one of the centerpieces, if not the centerpiece, of a nominee’s campaign was avoided when the occasion could not have been better.
Although the Mexican president clearly stated that Mexico would not pay for the wall, showing that he is not going to bend to Trump’s repeated promise about the wall, inviting Trump was not perceived positively by most of the Mexican public. However much doubt the meeting left on Trump’s international diplomacy skills, the meeting caused more trouble for Nieto. His move to invite Trump, a man who has repeatedly maligned the country’s citizens, was met with backlash from people across his country. His defense being that he wanted to show the Republican nominee that if he were to win, the Mexican government would be ready to work with him on a plethora of issues.
Both Trump and Nieto seem to have experienced more backlash than praise for their efforts to show “diplomacy.” Hopefully, the next meeting between the next U.S. president and any foreign government official will result in more resolute and beneficial plans.
By: Gabriel Apoj (12th grade) and Daniel Yerushalmi (12th grade)