Mexico Gets a New President, What Does in Mean for Texas?

Mexico has a new president, and many are eager to see how well he plays with an American president who, in the past, has had harsh rhetoric for the nation to the south, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office over the weekend to much fanfare in Mexico, and is now in a position to work with President Donald Trump on these growing migrant caravans, which affect both nations.

Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute, says both leaders are described as nationalistic, but they'll have to work together to solve the migration epidemic.

"It is a problem that is coming to the doors of the United States but it is certainly coming through Mexico and is creating a crisis in Mexico," he explains.

On the campaign trail, López Obrador talked about battling the problems of inequality, jobs and poverty in Mexico.  If he succeeded, Payan says migration from Mexico will fall even more than it already has. Most migrants showing up in South Texas now come from Central America. 

Payan says both sides will likely work well on the issue of trade.  

An updated NAFTA agreement was signed over the weekend.

"Mr. López Obrador will try do little to upset that because Mexico relies so heavily on that binational trade," he says

.But Payan predicts that the U.S. and Mexico will clash over the new Mexican President's stance on the war on drugs.  

"The incoming administration has states that they are going to legalize marijuana and they will have a different approach towards organized crime."

That will be a change from the current battle in Mexico against cartels.  U.S. law enforcement has worked closely with their Mexican counterparts and Payan says it will be interesting to see how that continues.

IMAGE: GETTY

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