Pelosi's Reform Demands Spark Conflict Between Mexico's López Obrador and the Senate
Senator Gómez Urrutia, a powerful union leader, pushes for anti-outsourcing legislation, a campaign promise of the president, but the economic downturn is already altering López Obrador's plans.

Last week Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told in no uncertain terms to Senator Napoléon Gómez Urrutia, a veteran mining union leader, that the laws to limit outsourcing in the country will not be introduced until further notice. The union leader, speaking in the presence of other senators, replied that reform against outsourcing had been a campaign promise of the president. López Obrador retorted that the economy was not at a good moment and that promoting that agenda "would mean throwing gasoline on the fire". The senator left the meeting visibly upset.

It was the second warning that Gómez Urrutia received from López Obrador in a month. The first was due to his negative remarks regarding the labor reform endorsed by the administration. The reform is one of Nancy Pelosi's requirements for the adoption of the USMCA in the House of Representatives.

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Senator Napoleón Gómez Urrutia

It is a complex situation because Gómez Urrutia was an important supporter of AMLO's presidential campaign. He is also an important political operative with many contacts within the presidential circle. The senator is constantly in contact with Andrés López Beltrán, the president's son, presidential adviser and mogul Alfonso Romo (who took care of his Senate nomination last year), and Carmen Lira, director of influential newspaper La Jornada.

The president does not want to upset the delicate balance he has with the business establishment in the country. A balance he will need to grow the economy. Anecdotes are abundant. Two weeks ago Secretary of the Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero was at the offices of the Business Coordinating Council. Claudio X. González, CEO of paper giant Kimberly Clark Mexico, was present. According to sources at the private meeting, the tycoon gave a very harsh analysis of the economy's current situation. None of those present dared to tone him down. Carlos Salazar Lomelín, president of the council, smiled with discomfort.

Last week Treasury Secretary Arturo Herrera had to listen, in a meeting with high-level players from the financial sector, to very unenthusiastic comments about the infrastructure plan promoted by the Treasury. To put it bluntly, the plan was deemed "insufficient" for the size of the Mexican economy.

The government understands that Gómez Urrutia's labor laws will weaken a business climate already hampered by a lack of confidence and that' s the reason the legislation will remain on stand-by. 

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