Trump Puts Mexican President In A Political Vise

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is facing tremendous pressure to take a firm stand against President Donald Trump, just a week after the new U.S. leader took office.

Trump is highly unpopular in Mexico, perceived as someone who has repeatedly insulted the country. He has done little to change that sentiment, taking a hard stance on U.S.-Mexico relations.

That's bad news for Peña Nieto, whose political fate is in the balance. 

At the center of the controversy is one of Trump's signature campaign pledges, to build a border wall paid for by Mexico.

Payment for the wall has also become a central issue in Mexico, where Trump's demand is seen as an affront to national pride and an irrational demand that the government cannot afford to comply with.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said Trump is unlikely to quietly let the issue go.

"The audience for this showdown is not necessarily Mexico and the U.S.," said O'Connell.

"If you listen to Trump carefully, he wants to go after countries with high trade surpluses," he added. "The people watching this are places like China."

Read more from Rafael Bernal at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy