Mexico's President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum names cabinet

Mexico City, Mexico - Mexican president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum named several key members of her cabinet on Thursday, including the heads of the economy and foreign ministries, who will play a major role in managing relations with the US.

Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum announces members of her cabinet at a press conference in Mexico City.
Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum announces members of her cabinet at a press conference in Mexico City.  © REUTERS

A member of outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's left-wing Morena party, Sheinbaum apparently eyed continuity with her predecessor, handing top posts to several current or former officials in his government.

"I feel very proud, happy that those who are here today have agreed to be part of our team," Sheinbaum, Mexico's first woman president, told a press conference in Mexico City.

The new foreign minister will be Juan Ramon de la Fuente, a former ambassador to the United Nations under Lopez Obrador and the former head of Mexico's National University (UNAM).

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For the economy ministry, which will handle thorny negotiations over a free trade deal with the United States and Canada, Sheinbaum picked Marcelo Ebrard, formerly Lopez Obrador's foreign minister and – like the president-elect – a former Mexico City mayor.

Both ministers will be in charge of managing relations with the US, where elections in November will decide if Democratic President Joe Biden gets a second term, or whether Republican Donald Trump returns to the White House.

Mexican-American relations a priority in Claudia Sheinbaum presidency

From l. to r.: Ernestina Godoy, appointed as Legal Advisor; Alicia Barcena, appointed as Minister of Environment and Natural Resources; Juan Ramon de la Fuente, appointed as Foreign Minister; Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum; Marcelo Ebrard, appointed as Minister of Economy; Rosaura Ruiz, appointed as Minister of Science, Humanities; and Julio Berdegue Sacristan, appointed as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development pose for a picture following the announcement of Sheinbaum's cabinet.
From l. to r.: Ernestina Godoy, appointed as Legal Advisor; Alicia Barcena, appointed as Minister of Environment and Natural Resources; Juan Ramon de la Fuente, appointed as Foreign Minister; Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum; Marcelo Ebrard, appointed as Minister of Economy; Rosaura Ruiz, appointed as Minister of Science, Humanities; and Julio Berdegue Sacristan, appointed as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development pose for a picture following the announcement of Sheinbaum's cabinet.  © REUTERS

The bilateral relationship will be key, with Mexico now the US' top trade partner after kicking China out of the top spot in 2023. 80% of Mexican exports are to the US.

But ties between the two nations have been strained in recent years, especially over immigration and border policy and drug trafficking.

De la Fuente told the press that there are "many challenges" on the international agenda but said he was prepared to "face them, looking above all for the interests of the people of Mexico."

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Mexico's stock market and currency fell sharply earlier this month on fears that a sizable majority in Congress would enable Sheinbaum's ruling party to push through certain constitutional changes.

One of the proposed reforms – which would require the approval of two-thirds of Congress – is for judges to be chosen by popular vote.

Amid the post-election worries, Sheinbaum announced that AMLO's finance minister, Rogelio Ramirez de la O, would remain in his position when she takes over. He assured investors that the new government would be committed to "macroeconomic stability" and "fiscal prudence."

On Thursday, Sheinbaum also announced that Mexico's current foreign minister, Alicia Barcena, will take over as environment and natural resources minister.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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