Mex­i­cans, peso thun­der­struck by Trump win

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Mex­i­cans bowed their heads in dis­be­lief, the peso tum­bled and the govern­ment pre­pared a re­sponse as Don­ald Trump, whose an­ti­im­mi­grant rhetoric in­fu­ri­ated the coun­try, won the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

At an Amer­i­can bar­be­cue res­tau­rant called Pinche Gringo in Mex­ico City, a fes­tive mood turned somber as Mex­i­cans and Amer­i­cans rubbed their necks and could barely ut­ter a word as they watched tele­vi­sion net­works con­firm­ing Trump’s vic­to­ries in key states against Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

“I feel very sad. It’s a night­mare, with a lot of un­cer­tainty about what’s go­ing to hap­pen,” said Erick Sauri, a 35-year-old ar­chi­tect, who wore a blue T-shirt read­ing “Hil­lary Clin­ton for Pres­i­dent.”

“For now we’re al­ready mak­ing less (money) than we mak­ing yes­ter­day,” Sauri said, re­fer­ring to the na­tional cur­rency’s fall to a record low. The dol­lar was buy­ing 20.78 pe­sos, eclips­ing the Mex­i­can cur­rency’s pre­vi­ous low of 19.93 set in Septem­ber.

Mex­i­cans have closely watched the US pres­i­den­tial cam­paign ever since Trump burst into the scene last year by call­ing mi­grants “rapists” and drug deal­ers. The Repub­li­can real es­tate ty­coon has pledged to de­port mil­lions of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants, force Mex­ico to pay billions of dol­lars for a bor­der wall, freeze re­mit­tances mi­grants send back home and rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA).

Mex­i­can Fi­nance Min­is­ter Jose An­to­nio Meade and cen­tral bank chief Agustin Carstens were due to ad­dress the me­dia early Wed­nes­day to out­line ac­tions the govern­ment will take in re­sponse to the peso’s fall. Meade said last week he ex­pected such mar­ket “volatil­ity” if Trump won, while Carstens said the govern­ment had an un­spec­i­fied con­tin­gency plan in place to weather the storm.

For­eign Min­is­ter Clau­dia Ruiz Massieu, mean­while, can­celled a late night news con­fer­ence. An of­fi­cial said she would speak af­ter both Trump and Clin­ton have spo­ken.

Meet­ing Mex­i­can pres­i­dent

In the runup to the elec­tion, Mex­i­cans vented their anger in dif­fer­ent ways, crush­ing Trump pinatas, burn­ing his ef­figy and or­ga­niz­ing an ex­hibit of car­toons mock­ing him as a Nazi or ex­cre­ment.

Their pres­i­dent, En­rique Pena Ni­eto, tried a dif­fer­ent ap­proach, shock­ing many in his coun­try when he met Trump at his of­fi­cial res­i­dence in Mex­ico City on Au­gust 31. Pena Ni­eto’s fail­ure to force­fully con­demn Trump dur­ing a joint press con­fer­ence an­gered Mex­i­cans. While the Mex­i­can leader later tweeted that he had told Trump that his govern­ment would never pay for the wall, sev­eral an­a­lysts saw the visit as a mis­take that helped Trump bur­nish his pres­i­den­tial im­age and Pena Ni­eto him­self later ad­mit­ted that the in­vi­ta­tion was “hasty.” But his in­vi­ta­tion may pay off now, since Pena Ni­eto said his goal was to open di­a­logue with a man who could be­come the next US pres­i­dent.

Good or bad?

But that was lit­tle con­so­la­tion to the Mex­i­cans at Pinche Gringo, a Mex­i­canAmer­i­can-owned res­tau­rant whose name refers to an in­sult lodged against Amer­i­cans. “I’m dis­mayed. It’s in­cred­i­ble that so many peo­ple voted for a mes­sage of hate. It’s like a bad dream,” said Mon­ser­rat Va­len­cia, a 25year-old econ­o­mist, who left the res­tau­rant even be­fore Trump was de­clared the win­ner.

But not all saw doom and gloom. Car­los Ar­turo Fer­nan­dez, a 36-year-old Uber driver nav­i­gat­ing heavy traf­fic on a rainy night, said things may not turn out that bad with Trump as US pres­i­dent. “Whether it’s Trump or Hil­lary, it can bring bad things and good things,” Fer­nan­dez said. — AFP

SIN­GA­PORE: Peo­ple queue in front of a money changer at the Raf­fles Place busi­ness district in Sin­ga­pore yes­ter­day. The dol­lar tum­bled against the yen and euro while the Mex­i­can peso fell off a cliff as polling re­sults in the knife-edge US pres­i­den­tial race pointed to a strong show­ing by Don­ald Trump. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.