July 19, 2019
1. Federal government presents Pemex Business Plan
PEMEX CEO Octavio Romero presented the state-owned company’s business plan for 2019-2024. The long-term plan seeks to continue investing public funds into the company and reduce its tax burden during the first three years, and aims to end financial support over the final three, as a result of an uptick in production to nearly 2.7 million barrels a year which will fuel Pemex’s growth and support the development of Mexico.
Economic analysts are lukewarm about the project as they consider it doesn’t address the structural problems of the company: excessive financial debt, its tax burden, and the lack of collaborative projects with the private sector, also known as farmouts.
El Financiero: Deja dudas el Plan de Negocios de Pemex
2. Federal government holds meetings with U.S. Congressional delegation and Secretary of State to discuss USMCA and immigration
President Andrés López Obrador announced the visit of a U.S. Congressional delegation to discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and accelerate its approval in the northern country. The President renewed its commitment to U.S.-Mexican relations pointing out the agreement’s ratification in Mexico’s Congress.
Furthermore, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced he will hold a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the weekend to review progress on topics such as immigration to the U.S., trade and the Comprehensive Development Plan for Central America. Secretary Marcelo Ebrard presented a report of the progress made regarding the agreement to halt migration before Mexican Congress, in anticipation of these meetings.
3. After resigning, former Finance Secretary reveals disagreements over federal government’s policy decisions
In an interview with Proceso magazine, former Finance Secretary Carlos Urzúa revealed the extent of the disagreements over policy he had with President López Obrador administration that led to his resignation. The President denied the accusations and reemphasized his commitment to fighting corruption and implementing austerity policies.
The former Secretary described a conflict of interest involving Chief of Staff Alfonso Romo, in addition to a hypothetical scenario where the dispute between the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and U.S. and Canadian energy companies over gas pipelines escalates to the point that it compromises the ratification of USMCA in the U.S. and Canada.
4. Mexican House of Representatives approves new Secretary of Finance
Mexico’s House of Representatives opened a third special session to discuss critical issues. President López Obrador’s nomination of Arturo Herrera as Secretary of Finance passed, but was objected by the PAN and PRD parties, citing that following the same economic policies will have serious consequences for the country.
Representatives also discussed the asset forfeiture bill, an initiative seeking to confiscate properties which formerly belonged to organized crime and hand them to communities in need. Additionally, secondary legislation in the education bill is also on the docket for review by legislators during the special session.
5. President López Obrador considers U.S. government should return confiscated goods from “El Chapo” to Mexico
As former Sinaloa Cartel head El Chapo was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison after he was found guilty of drug trafficking and organized crime, President López Obrador stated that the U.S. government should return the criminal’s confiscated properties and assets to Mexico.
The President said the Mexican government will seek any legal pathway to ensure the assets are returned to the country. On the other hand, he guaranteed a comprehensive investigation based on other asset confiscation investigations, such as Zhenli Ye Gon’s detention and the seizure of his assets.
El Sol de México: México exigirá a EU los bienes de El Chapo Guzmán