Both government officials and US legislators, especially the most radical wing of the Republican party, have raised pressure on Mexico in recent weeks, openly criticizing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for high insecurity, his trade policy or the controversial electoral reform.
The most recent pressure came this Monday, with information from the 'Reuters' agency that ensures that the White House is preparing an ultimatum for Mexico in commercial matters, which increases the risk of tariffs.
The response of the Mexican government has been firm.
They stress that despite having the power for months to escalate the dispute to an arbitration panel, the gateway to sanctions, Washington has not stepped on the accelerator for the moment.
maintains that the Joe Biden administration is preparing an “act now or face the consequences” message for Mexico in the coming weeks with reference to the stalled USMCA consultation process.
The United States accuses Mexico of violating the free trade agreement, the TMEC, by limiting the participation of private companies in the Mexican energy sector.
In response to the report published this Monday, the Ministry of Economy told EL PAÍS that "the means for dispute resolution allowed that from October 3, they could file the panel" of disputes.
If it rules in favor of the US, the arbitration panel may allow the imposition of multimillion-dollar tariffs.
For its part, the Ministry of Energy responded to this newspaper: “There is no ultimatum, we are a free and sovereign state.
With environmental responsibility to mother earth.
Therefore, do not confuse."
Messages to the US Trade Representative were not returned.
The US opened a second similar process, for Mexico to reverse a ban on transgenic corn for human consumption.
The US government sees seven alleged labor violations in Mexican companies.
In addition, there is an open process in an arbitration court between a US company and the Mexican State for an alleged affectation of the investment.
This refers to the economic sphere, which represents only one of the multiple fronts that the US has opened to put pressure on Mexico in recent months.
US lawmakers have complained about López Obrador's security policy, which they say allows large amounts of fentanyl, a powerful drug that has caused public health problems, to cross the border.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said last week that there are parts of Mexico where organized crime is the authority.
A week earlier, Blinden's team published a report exposing forced disappearances and arbitrary killings by Mexican security forces.
And, more urgently,
“We are seeing a number of different factors come together to really produce a perfect storm in the bilateral relationship,” says Duncan Wood, vice president of the Wilson Center, a US think tank, “all of this is coming together in a way that rarely we've seen before."
Mexico's response to the repeated messages received on the other side of the border has been to attribute electoral logic to the attacks.
Both countries hold presidential elections next year.
The positive narrative that has reached the headlines about Mexico in recent months is the commercial one, since the departure of North American companies from China to move to countries "allied" to the United States, has generated enthusiasm in Mexico, one of the countries better positioned to benefit from this new geopolitics.
"Usually, for every bad news out about Mexico, there was good news," Wood says, "but now there's so much bad news on the other side."
“In times like this, when you see this kind of perfect storm unfolding, you desperately need to have allies here in Washington, who will step up and say, 'Yeah, I know things are bad, but this is an important relationship and Mexico has been a good partner.'
And you are simply not seeing it right now and because López Obrador has invested little or has completely neglected the relationship with Congress, with civil society, with think
here in Washington, ”says Wood.
In a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico on Monday, the Secretary of the Economy, Raquel Buenrostro, said that to resolve the energy dispute they are trying to “pressure and work together with the Secretary of Energy to that as soon as possible communicate the investments of amplifications to the National Distribution System”, which is at the center of one of the points of the dispute under the TMEC.
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