Peru, Colombia vow to back Mexico against Donald Trump’s policies

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (R) and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos speak during the third Binational Cabinet in Arequipa, southern Peru, on January 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Peruvian and Colombian presidents have vowed to support Mexico against US President Donald Trump's policies towards the Latin American country.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Friday that all member states of the Latin American trade bloc, the Pacific Alliance, have to intensify their efforts to open markets and boost ties as they sail through the “turbulent waters” of protectionist rhetoric.
The Pacific Alliance was officially founded in April 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru in an attempt to remove obstacles to trade and orient their markets to the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region through further regional integration.
“Right now one of us is facing serious difficulties that are not of its own making,” Kuczynski further said in reference to Mexico during a joint press conference with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, who arrived in Peru’s southern city of Arequipa to attend the third Peru-Colombia Binational Cabinet late on Thursday.
“We have to stand together on our ideals, on global trade which has done us so much good,” Kuczynski added.
Santos, for his part, said that the Pacific Alliance wanted to “join the call of countries that adhere to the principles that have been so good for the world: free trade, respect for treaties... multilateral solutions.”
This aerial picture shows the barrier on the border between the US and Mexico at Playas de Tijuana, northwestern Mexico, on January 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Trump has insisted that Mexico has to pay for a wall between the two countries in a bid to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Mexican President Pena Nieto, however, has already announced that he would not pay for erecting such a wall.
Earlier in the week, Nieto called off his visit to Washington after Trump pledged to make Mexico pay for his planned border wall.
The US president has further angered Nieto by threatening to annul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if he cannot renegotiate it to ensure more benefits for Washington.
Trump, however, spoke with Nieto on the phone on Friday. According to the White House, the pair recognized their clear and very public differences on the issue of who will pay for the multi-billion-dollar wall along the porous border.