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As inflation in Mexico continues to surge month-after-month, hitting 7.45 percent in March, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced on Tuesday, April 26, the framework of his plan to reduce price increases by forming a pact with private-sector producers and distributors.

In his proposed plan to control the cost of eggs, milk, oil, beans, chicken and tortillas, along with other products of the basic food basket, AMLO said that he will work with businessmen and merchants to introduce price freezes and ceilings.

According to the daily newspaper Reforma, which obtained a preliminary list of 24 products whose prices are slated to be controlled, the president’s plan is intended to “avoid unjustified cost increases.”

If AMLO’s initiative succeeds, it would replicate similar pacts promoted by former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) administrations such as those of former Presidents Miguel de la Madrid and Carlos Salinas de Gortari, both of whom López Obrador has repeatedly lambasted as “neoliberals.”

Representatives of the federal government have already met with business leaders to discuss the plan and the list of items to be covered is about to be finalized, according to Reforma.

In addition to eggs and chicken, the plan is expected to cover the cost of tortillas, beans, brown sugar, vegetable oil and rice. Potatoes, oranges, limes, sardines, tuna and pasta soups are also being considered. Beef steaks and pork chops were added to the roster recently, along with onions, jalapeño peppers, apples, carrots and tomatoes. Other products include toilet paper and hand soap.

Inflation, which reached 7.72 percent in mid-April, more than double the Central Bank of Mexico’s (Banxico) target of 3 percent, has been triggered by surging food and gasoline costs. according to government reports.

López Obrador said that inflation could be contained through a more systematic internal production of foodstuffs in Mexico.

And on Wednesday, April 27, AMLO said that he would present the details of his inflation-stopping plan during his daily press conference on Wednesday, May 4.

Notwithstanding, private-sector organizations on Tuessday said that they are not in agreement with price freezes.


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