Sun | May 19, 2019

President talks US investment with Trump’s son-in-law

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2019 | 12:10 AM

MEXICO CITY (AP):

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said yesterday that talks with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner have led to advances towards an agreement that would have the United States government guarantee some US$10 billion in development investments for Mexico and Central America.

The previously discussed investments would aim to reduce immigration from Mexico and Central America by providing more opportunities in those countries. Roughly half of the sum would go to Mexico, while the remainder would be divided among Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, López Obrador said.

“That is investment to create jobs so that the people don’t have the need to abandon their communities, their families, their regions, their customs, their culture,” he said. “That is the dream that we want to convert into a reality.”

He said they were nearing an agreement and that he would consider travelling to the US if there were a solid accord to sign.

Mexico has been under pressure from the US to address the flow of Central American immigrants through the country. Several migrant caravans have drawn the ire of US President Donald Trump.

Mexico has stepped up its offering of visas that would allow Central Americans to stay and work in Mexico and also agreed to a US programme that forces some who seek asylum in the US to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed.

Some have criticised Mexico for efforts to slow the migration flow to the US, even while Trump continues to demand funding to extend a barrier along the entire US-Mexico border.

López Obrador, a leftist, had campaigned on the idea of improving economic and security conditions in Mexico sufficiently so that Mexicans would not have to migrate.

“We have the conviction that with the programmes that are being implemented in our country, there is going to be zero migration of Mexicans,” he said Wednesday. “Mexicans aren’t going to need to go to work in the United States because there is going to be work.”