According to the column of Dario Celis, one of the most important business journalists at the national level in the newspaper El Financiero, the new government of Joe Biden knows that they are facing a willful and intransigent López Obrador, with little attachment to the rules.
MEXICO (El Financiero) – In the bilateral political agenda between Mexico and the United States, cooperation on cross-border security, migration, and the fight against drug trafficking will be the “bogeyman” of the government of the 4T and, in particular, for the new Mexican ambassador Esteban Moctezuma.
In the trade and business plan, the issues that will attract the attention of Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador are six points contained in the USMCA: 1. foreign investment 2. security 3. government procurement 4. clean energy/environment 5. labor rights, and 6. bilateral trade solutions.
We would have to review the agenda of the Democrats in the era of Bill Clinton-Al Gore to realize that it was precise with the arrival of them and their party to the White House that the parallel agreements were made and they brought labor and environmental issues into the old NAFTA of Carlos Salinas, George Bush and Brian Mulroney.
On the six issues mentioned above, Mexico will be on the ropes because the Biden and Justin Trudeau governments have had a very well-defined plan for years, especially in clean energy, legal security for foreign investors, and respect for labor rights.
But with an aggravating factor: Mexico’s team, both in the Ministry of the Economy, which is now headed by Tatiana Clouthier and in the Mexican embassy in Washington, with Moctezuma, are inexperienced, to say the least.
The Green Proposal of Biden’s new Democratic government has these pillars:
1.- An economy based on clean energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions (2050).
2.- Between 2021-2025, it will allocate 500 billion dollars for the generation of clean energies; it will give tax credits to change sustainable energies and create new severe regulations for those who continue to use fossil fuels in their export processes.
3.- From Canada to South America, the pressure will be placed on countries to develop a regional electricity network based on clean energy.
4.- Cars for export to the United States will have to be electric.
The small print of the USMCA/TMEC signed with the governments of the United States, and Canada must be reviewed due to possible trade sanctions against Mexico and its companies to use energy and processes focused on contaminating fuel.
The labor plan will be one of the fundamental issues of TMEC, especially in terms of union democracy, cost of labor, child labor (avocado and red fruit producers in Michoacán and Jalisco) the automotive industry.
One of the principal negotiators of the TMEC on behalf of the Mexican government told us, to show the influence that the AFL-CIO has with the Democratic government of the United States and the mining and automotive unionists of Canada, that the union leaders previously approved all the texts of the new agreement between the three countries.
The 4T government is going to have to think very carefully about decisions to cancel government contracts or foreign investments, by popular will and by “raise of hands” because this USMCA/TMEC in the chapter on disputes has very sharp teeth that include the suspension of exports, safeguards or economic sanctions of all kinds.
Biden has Congress on his side, and Nancy Pelosi has already shown Donald Trump that she is not an easy opponent.
Hard times are coming for AMLO’s “4T”, and Marcelo Ebrard will have to turn to all his political allies who influence the U.S. Congress and among the Democrats to soften the bilateral relationship. That means: Ernesto Zedillo, Luis Videgaray, Jorge G. Castañeda, Arturo Sarukhán and even the ‘unmentionable,’ AMLO’s second favorite enemy, Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
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