The Multilateralist

What Mexico’s WTO bid says about its foreign policy

What Mexico’s WTO bid says about its foreign policy

The FT‘s Adam Thomson looks at what Mexico’s well organized campaign to get Herminio Blanco the top job at the World Trade Organization (WTO) says about the country’s diplomacy:

Peña Nieto’s administration sees Blanco’s candidacy for the WTO job as a perfect vehicle to project Mexico as a defender of free-trade values and practices globally. The 46-year-old president has personally backed Blanco for the post, and he tasked the country’s foreign ministry, as well as the network of embassies and consulates around the world, to explore ways of promoting the Mexican’s chances wherever and whenever possible.

Leading the campaign co-ordination is Lourdes Aranda, a respected and highly capable member of Mexico’s foreign service, who was a key figure during Mexico’s time in the presidency of the G-20.

Such commitment from the state creates a telling contrast with the experience of Angel Gurría, Mexico’s former finance minister who in 2006 made it to the top job of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development thanks mainly to his own substantial efforts. Greater support from Mexico’s previous administration for Agustín Carstens, Mexico’s central bank governor, may not have changed the outcome of his failure to reach the top post at the International Monetary Fund. But it wouldn’t have hurt, either.