This is President López Obrador’s first trip abroad since he took office in 2018. During this time, he has mostly delegated issues of foreign affairs to members of his cabinet, choosing not to travel beyond his country’s borders during more than 18 months in office.

But the timing of this first face-to-face meeting with Trump, which marks the start of a new North American trade deal, has raised questions in Mexico about whether the visit might be interpreted as support for the reelection of President Trump. 

López Obrador has faced widespread criticism for seeking out a meeting with Trump given the U.S. president’s history of blasting Mexico over immigration and border security.

Still, López Obrador insisted the trip was positive for Mexico. He explained that he has chosen to go in the hopes of preserving Mexico’s most important commercial relationship. 

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