Throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, President Mauricio Macri’s administration made no secret that it wanted Hillary Clinton to win. But this morning, once the results were in, President Mauricio Macri was quick to adapt to the result and congratulate Donald Trump on his victory.
Felicito a @realDonaldTrump en su triunfo y espero que podamos trabajar juntos por el bien de nuestros pueblos
— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) November 9, 2016
“I congratulate @realDonaldTrump on his victory and I hope we can work together for the well-being of our countries.”
Felicitaciones @realDonaldTrump por ser electo nuevo presidente de los Estados Unidos!
— Susana Malcorra (@SusanaMalcorra) November 9, 2016
Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra also extender her congratulations via Twitter, but also lamented “not seeing a woman as capable as Hillary Clinton chosen for this important responsibility” in the following tweet.
Malcorra then did a bit of a tour through media outlets, explaining that the reasons why the government had endorsed the Democratic candidate was because that’s what would have been best for the country. Considering Clinton would continue with President Barack Obama’s policies, the Macri administration wanted to “make sure there were no delays in the issues we are working on.”
So, according to Malcorra, it was all about what was good for Argentina at a time when the country is making an effort to boost relations with the United States.
“From a very utilitarian standpoint, in accordance with our priorities and interests,” she added.
But the result wasn’t the expected and the government proceeded to apply the contingency plan: get in damage control mode and adapt to the new reality. “We will do so with institutional responsibility,” said Malcorra. “We have already initiated contacts” with members from Trump’s team, she explained.
However, despite these reactions to the result —which replicated throughout the world’s political spectrum — a Trump presidency brings a scenario of uncertainty when it comes to the future of diplomatic relations between the United States and Argentina.
Having rooted for Trump’s opponent is unlikely to help things.
In the same line as Malcorra, Macri acknowledged his support for the Democratic candidate in an interview with Buzzfeed earlier this year: “I believe in relationships, in networks — we are, in fact, speaking with the world through a network — not in building walls,” he said. Then, in September, he spoke at the Clinton Foundation’s annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting, where he told Bill Clinton he was looking forward to welcoming him in Buenos Aires as “first gentleman.”
Malcorra was more emphatic during the run up to November 8th and never hesitated to speak her mind . In fact, just hours before the elections, Malcorra said in an interview with cable news channel TN that when Macri came to presidency, the relationship between Argentina and the US entered “a new era,” but went on to express concern that, if the Republican real estate magnate won, that rapport could “come to a standstill.”
Susana Malcorra: EEUU y el futuro de Latinoamérica pic.twitter.com/VFnz3aurD9
— TN – Todo Noticias (@todonoticias) November 8, 2016
Malcorra expanded on the same point by mentioning the long-term goal of “establishing a free trade market between Mercosur and the United States.” But she warned progress between the US and the Mercosur trade bloc could be halted by the potential arrival of Trump in power. This will likely prove to be a much harder challenge now, considering that shifting towards protectionist policies was one of Trump’s main rallying cries.