Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated the US on its elections Wednesday morning, but stopped short of congratulating Donald Trump directly. “I congratulate the US for its electoral process and I reiterate to @realDonaldTrump the disposition to work together in favor of the bilateral relation,” Nieto said on Twitter.
He added that “Mexico and the US are friends, partners, and allies that should continue collaborating for the competitiveness and development of North America” and that he trusts the two countries will “continue tightening their ties of cooperation and mutual respect.”
Nieto’s diplomatic statement speaks to Mexico’s awkward position in the wake of Trump’s victory. The country must now play nice with a man who repeatedly insulted and blamed its people for America’s woes. And this isn’t just a matter of Mexicans swallowing their pride: They are also bracing for Trump’s anti-trade policies, which could inflict real damage on the Mexican economy. The country currently sends more than 80% of its exports to the US, and receives tens of billions of dollars in direct investment from American companies.
On Wednesday morning, Mexicans were suitably incredulous, and the country’s top newspapers spelled doom:
“Start to tremble!” ran across the front page of Reforma.
“Nightmare” read the headline of El Economista.
The Mexican peso also collapsed overnight as a Trump victory became clear.
Uncertainty with respect to the country’s economy is starting to spread. Fitch Rating said that the election results put its Mexico growth forecasts at risk—and potentially Mexico’s credit ratings.
Reactions played out across social media. On Twitter, Mexican pundit Viridiana Ríos referenced an odd comment Nieto made last month, that he doesn’t get out of bed thinking about how to screw Mexico. “The bad news,” she wrote, “@realDonald Trump does wake up thinking how to screw Mexico”
Below, Nieto prepares to build Trump’s border wall as Trump tells Mexicans to start buying blocks.
The title of this one: affected countries if Trump wins.
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox, an outspoken critic of Trump, also released what amounts to a personals ad from Mexico to non-US countries. “Mexico in search of new opportunities. New era post Trump,” it reads. “Only the emirates and other regions, Latin America, EU are our door to the future.”