The departure of Economy Minister Tatiana Clouther a few days ago and only this week, helped by the right-hand man Luz Maria de la Mora, practically dismantled the powerful negotiating team that Mexico had to face in its trade disputes with the United States and Canada.
It was not long before the arrival of criticism from specialists and the opposition, especially since Undersecretary de la Mora had spent 25 years in senior positions in this portfolio related to the free trade agreement that this country has maintained since 1994 with its northern neighbors.
For specialists, the change represents a “hardening of the Mexican position” in the current negotiations with its trading partners in the face of a dispute over an electricity law that Washington and Ottawa see as harming their investments in Mexico, impacting and affecting the government’s monopoly. Renewable energy production.
Currently, Mexico and the United States are about to complete a period of bilateral consultations which, if not culminated in an agreement, could lead to the formation of a dispute commission and which, at worst, would result in harsh sanctions against a country.
At the same time, Mexico also maintains a lawsuit against the United States for violations of the Free Trade Agreement (T-MEC) regarding auto parts in the auto sector.
Referring to the relief of Luz Maria de la Mora, Anna Leroy, a collaborator with the Economist Intelligence Unit, considered it “more dangerous” than the relief of Clotheer and three other high-ranking officials who had been relieved.
Tatiana Clouthier has been replaced by Raquel Buenrostro, until now responsible for the Tax Administration System (SAT), the office that manages taxes in the country, known as the “heavy hand”, for forcing the country’s large corporations to pay all the taxes they owe on you.
“They say they put Buenrostro because it is tough, but this is not a matter of negotiation. The goal is to “avoid sanctions against Mexico and agree on solutions” to the conflict, said former Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo.
“It is concerning that people accredited to trade negotiations are leaving the undersecretary’s office at such a crucial moment,” Guajardo, who is now a deputy, told El Universal.
“Hopefully the alternative would be someone with similar credentials, with experience in international trade negotiations, given that we are in the middle of two groups: one as a claimant country, one for auto parts rules of origin, and one where we are being prosecuted for T-MEC violations in terms of energy,” He said.
“Unfortunately, this is not the time to send mixed messages,” Guajardo said.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed the departure of Los Maria de la Moura, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
“I don’t know if they gave him other options to continue his work in government if he’s doing well,” the president said when answering questions from the media during his usual morning press conference.
Lopez Obrador refused that the change would affect Mexican energy policy review talks within T-MEC and said the opposition “likes to guess a lot”.
“It is a change, we must renew, this is a process of transformation and we want to move forward, we are no longer in a position to maintain the same neoliberal policy, but it is not against anyone,” he said, noting that “neoliberal policy was a disaster and only benefited a minority.”
Likewise, he noted that the Ministry of Economy “wants to make changes that are credible for decision-making”.
The President of the American Society of Mexico, Larry Rubin, noted that de la Mora has always supported US companies in Mexico and foreign investment as a whole”, and said that it “is not best to leave the job” with his “extensive knowledge of the environment” and his main contacts with the United States and Canada.