BY JAIME DAREMBLUM
During his trip to Mexico and Costa Rica last week, President Obama tried to highlight the positive and downplay the negative. Thus, he spoke at length about the growth of trade, commerce, and economic partnerships, arguing that security issues should not be allowed to dominate all discussions of U.S. policy in the region. (Of course, Obama voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement when he was a senator, and he canceled a U.S.-Mexico pilot trucking program during his first months as president, but never mind.) His remarks were surely welcomed by Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, who has taken great pains to transform his country’s image abroad. Whereas many Americans and others have come to associate Mexico with drug trafficking and brutal cartel violence, Peña Nieto wants them to learn more about Mexico’s emergence as a manufacturing powerhouse, its increasingly important role in the global economy, and the expansion of its middle class.