July 26, 2019
1. After visit of U.S. Secretary of State, Mexican Chancellor announces drop in migrant flow of 36%
Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard held a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss strategies related to reducing the flow of migrants in order to avoid tariffs on Mexican exports. Ebrard assured the flow of migrants had dropped 36.2%, while Mike Pompeo praised Mexico’s actions stating the government had “made real progress” on the issue.
Furthermore, both public officials discussed a plan to combat gun smuggling at the Mexican border, in addition to the establishment of a binational committee to negotiate the forfeited assets of former Sinaloa Cartel head Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán after he was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison.
2. International Monetary Fund lowers Mexico’s growth forecast
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered Mexico’s year end economic growth forecast to 0.9% from 1.6% as previously projected in April. The IMF cited the threat of tariffs on Mexican exports to the U.S. and general trade tensions in North America.
On the other hand, while Mexico and U.S. used to grow in conjunction as economic partners, the IMF projected the opposite trend for the U.S., adjusting its year-end growth forecast to 2.6% from 2.3%. International uncertainty and the looming threat of a trade war caused the IMF to slash its global growth forecast to 3.2%.
3. Association of Mexican Banks willing to invest over USD $25 billion to boost domestic development
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador held a meeting with members of the Association of Mexican Banks (ABM), where leaders of member financial institutions willingly offered to invest over USD $25 billion to boost development in various industries, including infrastructure, energy, agriculture and consumer goods.
ABM President Luis Niño de Rivera, said there will be more support for SMEs in order to spur economic activity. Niño de Rivera also stated that the banking sector has not been affected by the economic slowdown.
4. President López Obrador signs vow not to seek re-election
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured he would not seek re-election once his six-year term is over. Moreover, during one of his press conferences, he signed a vow before a notary public to make his position clear.
He added that opposition parties have yet to approve his recall referendum bill and the amendment to remove legislative immunity – known as the “fuero.” The recall referendum has been widely criticized by opposition legislators as they foresee the bill as a hypothetical first step towards a re-election bid.
5. Leader of Pemex union dismissed amid corruption accusations
According to media reports, PEMEX labor union leader Carlos Romero Deschamps and his family members have been charged with corruption and money laundering by the Secretary of Finance. Throughout the week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said union leaders would no longer be given privileged treatment.
Nonetheless Romero Deschamps received a legal provision preventing him from being detained. In response, PEMEX’s labor union dismissed him from the organization and named Sergio Carlos Morales Quintana as his successor. The ratification of his appointment by the Secretary of Labor is pending.