BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Mexico’s government on Friday gave President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner the highest honor America’s southern neighbor grants to foreigners.
The award has caused an uproar in Mexico, where many are angry over Trump’s insulting comments about Mexicans and his promises to build a border wall between the countries. The Order of the Aztec eagle award has been bestowed before on figures such as Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the late South African President Nelson Mandela.
Trump attended the award ceremony on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. Mexican officials said Kushner earned the award for his work on negotiating a new trade agreement signed Friday by Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. The deal replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
Kushner said U.S.-Mexico relations have improved because the countries decided to craft “win-win” solutions to migration, drug trafficking and other issues plaguing relations.
Trump has railed about factory jobs lost to Mexico and the U.S. trade deficit with its southern neighbor — two issues that soured relations with outgoing President Pena Enrique Nieto. On Friday, however, Trump lauded Pena Nieto as a “special man,” and congratulated him on ending his presidency by signing the new trade deal. Pena Nieto leaves office on Sunday.
When the award was announced, prominent Mexican historian Enrique Krauze called the decision an act of “supreme humiliation and cowardice.”