Manuel Perez-Rocha said today that Mexican President “Peña Nieto is opening the doors of Mexico to a xenophobe he once compared to Hitler. Trump has vilified Mexicans and continues promising a wall between our countries. By doing this, Peña Nieto demonstrates how weak and temeros he is, and is legitimizing Trump’s twisted solutions that will only further aggravate problems.

“Ironically, it is Peña Nieto who will defend NAFTA, when ordinary Mexicans have been the biggest losers of this trade deal. It devastated the Mexican countryside, bankrupted thousands of small businesses, destroyed entire national industries, and made Mexicans produce and consume food the American way. No wonder Mexico’s obesity rate has matched that of the U.S.

“Ironically, it is Peña Nieto who will defend the status quo, in front of Trump who attacks NAFTA hypocritically and only for electoral purposes, because he is an outsourcer of jobs and an embodiment of free trade and unbridled corporate power himself. It is a meeting between two very perfidious characters.

“Both the U.S. and Mexican populations overwhelmingly want to rethink the NAFTA approach that has caused so much forced migration. It will be terrible to see how Peña Nieto and Trump may talk both about NAFTA and migration without even thinking of linking both as if they are different issues.

“I would commend Trump, for once, if he says that NAFTA caused so much Mexican migration to the U.S. But I doubt he has the capacity to understand such cause and effect. He only attacks NAFTA as if only U.S. workers have lost. And by doing this he will only perpetrate the blindsided us vs. them strategy. ‘We are the good, they are the bad,’ is his simplistic reasoning.”

Manuel Perez-Rocha is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Pérez-Rocha wrote the articles “NAFTA Pushes Many Mexicans to Migrate” and “Free Trade Agreements Have Exacerbated a Humanitarian Crisis in Central America.” He also wrote the pieces “The Moral Case Against the TPP” and “When Corporations Sue Governments” for the New York Times.

Media Contact: Manuel Perez-Rocha, manuel@ips-dc.org, 240-838-6623, @ManuelPerezIPS

Manuel Perez-Rocha is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.