Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he had spoken with US President Donald Trump on the phone and offered to reduce US-bound migration in exchange for American assistance.
“I received a phone call from Donald Trump and we spoke for half an hour,” the fiery leftist wrote on Twitter, in one of his first messages after winning a landslide victory on Sunday.
“I proposed exploring a universal deal (involving) development projects that would create jobs in Mexico and, by doing so, reduce migration and improve security,” he added.
“The tone was respectful and our teams will be holding talks.”
Trump also mentioned the phone call in an Oval Office briefing.
“I just spoke with the president-elect of Mexico,” he told reporters.
“I think the relationship is going to be a very good one. We had a great talk.”
Trump’s anti-trade and anti-immigration policies have infuriated Mexico, and Lopez Obrador would not seem the most obvious candidate to mend ties with his country’s giant northern neighbour and key trading partner.
He had vowed during the campaign to “put (Trump) in his place.”
But he was more conciliatory in his victory speech Sunday night, saying he wanted “friendship and cooperation” with the United States.
Trump said a change in Mexico’s leadership might make a difference.
“I think he is going to try and help us with the border,” he said.
Ironically, there are parallels between the two leaders. Both are free-trade skeptics with populist tendencies who fired up a disgruntled base with anti-establishment campaigns.