December 17th, 2021
1. Mexico and US jointly present economic work plan
The Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Economy, and Ministry of Finance and Public Credit presented the Mexico and United States work plan to stimulate regional cooperation in concert with the Biden Administration. Its four pillars aim to strengthen Mexican semiconductor supply chains and address the causes of irregular Central American migration.The work plan attempts to promote economic, social, and sustainable development in Mexico and Central America; secure tools for future prosperity; and increase domestic investment focused on small businesses. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that he will encourage Mexicans living in the United States not to vote for the party that rejects immigration reform.
2. Government mega project decree suspended
The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) paused an executive branch decree that shielded infrastructure project information from public scrutiny. The court ruled in favor of the National Institute of Transparency’s Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), which argued that government infrastructure works should not be classified under national security considerations.The INAI stated that the executive branch does not have the power to carry out this classification without complying with the law. The pause will go into immediate effect. Among the sectors affected by the decree were communications, tourism, energy, airports, and railways.
3. Electricity reform will be discussed in January and February
The Chamber of Deputies approved discussion of the Electricity Reform Bill, from January 17 to February 15. They will then debate energy reform; the state’s role in construction of the national electric sector; the constitutional nature of the 2021 initiative; the environment; and renewable energy transition.The forums will prioritize the participation of directors, private sector representatives, academia, field experts, and public entities. They will be coordinated by Constitutional, Energy and Environment, and Natural Resources commissions, and will have the support of the General Secretariat of the Chamber.
4. Tobacco Control Law reform
The congressional approved reform to the Tobacco Control Law will now go to the executive branch for ratification. It establishes tobacco smoke-free spaces and prohibits smoking and other nicotine products in public access areas, workplaces, public transport, and other collective spaces.Sports, cultural, and entertainment activities will also be tobacco-free. All direct and indirect tobacco advertising will likewise be prohibited.
5. Inflation deteriorates purchasing power
The Bank of Mexico (Banxico) increased interest rates by 50 basis points to 5.5%, from the previous five percent. The Bank stated that inflationary pressures affected headline and core annual inflation, which grew to 7.37% in recent weeks. Headline and core inflation are expected to increase in 2022, while long-term projections remain above target rates.Inflation impacted contractual salary revisions to the lowest figure in more than four years. Nominal contract wages increased 5.1% in November, amounting to a 2.14% real loss, further deterioration purchasing power. In INEGI’s first National Survey of Wellbeing (ENBIARE), 43.4% of Mexicans stated they had difficulties affording household expenses.