Mexico's Peña Nieto Goes to Washington

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Mexico's president elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, who takes office Dec. 1, is meeting with President Obama today at the White House. Peña Nieto's election marks the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power in Mexico after 12 years of National Action Party (PAN) governments.

In a column for the Washington Post, Peña Nieto wrote that he wants to realign priorities in Mexico's relationship with the United States. He wants to focus on the economy and strengthen NAFTA and Mexico's position as a manufacturing center. He said he hopes to set aside the issues of drugs and security that dominated Felipe Calderón's administration.

An editorial in La Opinión notes that Mexico's image is "awful for average Americans who hear about repeated violence and warnings against traveling to certain parts of Mexico.

"However, this image is not the same for businesses, which see Mexico as a friendly country to foreign investment, with a growing middle class and a solid GDP," editors write.

"Anyway, the bilateral agenda cannot ignore drug trafficking, especially the impact that the legalization of marijuana in some U.S. states. Also the issue of the situation of millions of undocumented Mexicans who might benefit from a treaty. Mexican leaders must recognize they can do little on an internal policy issue like immigration."

 

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