Mexico announced that it will award President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner—one of Trump’s top advisers—the highest honor the country gives to foreigners.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said in a statement that Kushner earned the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle “his significant contributions to the negotiation of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).”
Kushner “played a key role throughout the process, firmly supporting the trade talks between both countries as they unfolded and achieving satisfactory results in the new economic agreement for the three countries,” the department added.
The formal award ceremony was slated for Nov. 29 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the G20 Summit, sources told Mexican publication Reforma.
The Order of the Aztec Eagle is “the highest distinction granted to foreigners in Mexico for prominent services rendered to the nation or mankind,” according to the Mexican government.
A day before Kushner’s announced award, outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Stephen Allen Schwarzman, president and co-founder of The Blackstone Group, would be receiving the award in part for his help in renegotiating the trade agreement.
Pena Nieto said that Schwarzman took a proactive position and, along with other American businessmen, teamed up with Mexican businessmen to support the work of the negotiating teams.
The award for Kushner comes just days before President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office on Dec. 1
President Trump said on Nov. 27 that Vice President Mike Pence and daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump would be among the American delegation at the inauguration. It wasn’t clear whether Kushner would travel to Mexico as well.
Kushner’s Personal Touch
Top officials said Kushner’s personal touch helped ensure the trade agreement went through.
“The president’s key advisor and my good friend Jared Kushner was my partner in leading the U.S. negotiating team,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at a White House press conference on Oct. 1. “I’ve said before and I’ll say again, this agreement would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jared. So thank you very much.”
Sources told the Washington Examiner that Kushner played a central role in the agreement by involving Mexico’s foreign minister, an official not typically a leader in trade issues, in the negotiations. He also used his personal relationship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, to help smooth over issues between Canada and the United States.
“He is able to take things out of the bureaucratic path to keep negotiations going,” one source said. “Jared stays above the noise and when it looked like the sides were not going to get along, he soldiered on and now we’re reaping the benefits today.”
Kushner has also been involved in other Trump administration successes, such as moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.