By RICARDO CASTILLO
Business and politics have intentionally been kept centralized in Mexico City for decades in Mexico.
But that arrangement seems to be falling apart as a result of the divide between commerce and industrial chambers leaders, specifically, Carlos Salazar Lomelín of the Business Coordination Council (CCE), Francisco Cervantes of the Industrial Chambers Confederation (Concamin) and Antonio del Valle of the Mexican Business Council (CMN).
On Monday, April 6, Salazar held a link meeting with CCE members to tell them that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) “slammed the door on us” regarding financial stimulants for the business community, unleashing a series of criticism because the president has not been receptive to the prescription the business and industrial leaders proposed, that is, borrow more money to weather the coronavirus-provoked financial crisis.
What makes the reaction from the members of the business chambers so blatant is that AMLO has sought — and received — the support of some of the top millionaires in the nation, including Carlos Slim, Alberto Baillères and Germán Larrea.
Since AMLO has steadfastly stood by his commitment that “the poor come first,” now they are demanding “equal treatment.”
The rebellion against their leaders, observers claim, is just starting and bringing about a phenomena of businessmen becoming politicized to survive.
Governors Rebel Too
Also claiming that AMLO does not give them fair and “equal treatment” are the state governors of the two most industrialized states in the nation, Nuevo León (led by independently-elected Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez) and Jalisco (led by Enrique Alfaro Ramírez of the tiny political party Citizens’ Movement, or MC).
Both governors are calling upon President AMLO to change his commitment as they consider unfair the “fiscal pact” in which all states pitch in to help the other states to get out of poverty.
Both are demanding that AMLO change his mind about his fiscal pact and reconsider it because it is “unfair” to the top-producing states.
They claim that their objective is not to abandon the fiscal pact, but modify it to meet changing production conditions that are posing a radical transformation in the economy.
The demand for now sounds fair, but will pay heed their pleas?
Bolsa Chief Dies
The head of the Mexican Stock Exchange, Jaime Ruiz Sacristán, passed away on Easter Sunday, April 12, after nearly a month of agonizing due to a coronavirus infection.
Ruiz Sacristán was infected during a business and pleasure trip to Vail, Colorado,
Oil Output Agreement
One person who was happy on Sunday, April 12, was Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle García, after 23 oil-producing nations agreed to cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd.)
Nahle was under crossfire – both at home and at the Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC) — for standing her ground that Mexico would cut down production by only 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), which was not acceptable to Saudi Arabia, which was demanding far more.
U.S. President Donald Trump came to the rescue and offered to pitch in 250,000 more barrels to make up for some of the difference.
Nahle tweeted: “Mexico is grateful for all the support from the nation of the OPEC secretariat in the extraordinary meeting today. The unanimous agreement of the 23 participating nations will begin the reduction of the petroleum platform to 9.7 million barrels as of May.”
In this past crisis, Mexico answered, particularly to local critics, that the nation’s oil price is covered by insurance at $49 per barrel and has suffered no significant losses in this past crisis.
Nahle said that Mexico is a small producer with a current production of 1.7 million bpd.
It will cut oil production down to 1.6 million in accordance with the agreement.
Food Supply Assured, But…
Mexican National Agribusiness Council president Bosco de la Vega Valladolid said that the nation’s food supply chain is strong and can assure fulfillment for as long as the Covid-19 crisis lasts.
The only problem, he said, “is security.”
“Given the size and location of the nation, we enjoy fresh produce year-round and have enough inventory to last through this crisis,” he said.
” The place we feel we’ve got our Achiles’ heel is in terms of security,” involving transportation both because of constant heists by bandits and he fact that nowadays, some communities are closing roads to prevent the arrival of persons contaminated with coronavirus.
Also, he said, there are possible risks du to the health of truck drivers, who either get sick or stop going out on the road to deliver the goods.
But, so far, this has not happened and the commercial train service is also operating without hindrances.
Holy Week is over, but the damage is done to all the nation’s big vacation spots, which were empty with the implementation of the “no-contact” measures imposed by the federal government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Mexican Federation of Tourism Association warned that “all the links in the productive tourism chains have been broken” and pleaded for help from the “federal executive,” namely, AMLO.