July 10, 2020
1. Donald Trump and Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrate implementation of USMCA
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met in Washington with U.S. President Donald Trump, to celebrate the launch of the Mexico, United States and Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the invitation to the White House meeting on July 8.
During the visit, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered a floral arrangement at the Lincoln Memorial and the statue of Benito Juarez in Washington, and also signed a joint statement with Donald Trump pledging to strengthen the trade in the region. At night, the presidents held a dinner with business leaders from Mexico and the U.S.
2. Former Chihuahua governor and former CEO of Pemex to stand trial in Mexico
In the context of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s tour in Washington, former Governor of Chihuahua, César Duarte Jáquez, was arrested in Miami, Florida. He is accused of misuse of public funds, totalling at least USD $6.5 million to family businesses and USD $11.1 million for political campaigns of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The arrest and extradition of César Duarte is added to the extradition of Emilio Lozoya, former director of Mexican Petroleum (Pemex), who is detained in Spain accused of receiving million-dollar bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, that allegedly financed the campaign of former Mexican President Enrique Nieto.
3. Mexico moves ahead with reopening of economy
This week Mexico continued the gradual return to economic activity despite 6,995 new contagions being recorded on Wednesday – a record number of confirmed new cases. Mexico currently totals more than 275,000 confirmed cases accumulated.
The Bank of Mexico assured that although partial reopening will lead to recovery in certain sectors, uncertainty in the Mexican economy will remain. This week CitiBanamex, JP Morgan and Bank of America adjusted Mexico’s GDP forecasts to -11.2%, -10.2% and -10% respectively.
4. Inflation in Mexico rises for third straight month
The National Institute of Statistics and Geography released the National Consumer Price Index, which recorded 3.33% inflation year-over-year. The inflation rate has risen for three straight months but is still within the target range set by the Bank of Mexico.
In June consumer prices rose 0.55% over May, representing the largest increase this year stemming from a rise in agricultural prices, including chicken, and the rise in gasoline and natural gas.
On the other hand, the National Banking and Securities Commission reported that the profits of banks operating in the country fell by 30.9% in June 2020 compared to the same period of 2019.
5. Government institutions fall victim to cyberattacks
The Tax Administration Service (SAT) reported that its computer systems were subject to “external pressures” for at least three hours last Wednesday, July 8, prompting interruptions in the institution’s website. The SAT indicated that taxpayer information was never exposed.
The SAT was not the only government body to fall victim to cyberattacks. The National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Users of Financial Services (Condusef) and the Bank of Mexico also experienced issues allegedly perpetrated by the group “Anonymous Mexico,” causing the fall of the web pages of those institutions.
Milenio: SAT sufre intento de hackeo