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AMLO's reform package, Mexico is US' top trade partner, migration discussions, Gálvez in DC

Lauren TerMaat

AMLO announces his package of 20 reforms, US-Mexico discussions on migration continue, Mexico overtakes China as top trade partner of the US, Xóchitl Gálvez continues US visit. (Week of 02/04/2024 - 02/10/2024)

Week of 02/04/2024 - 02/10/2024

AMLO announces a package of 20 reforms 

In a ceremony to celebrate the 107th anniversary of the enactment of Mexico’s 1917 Constitution on Monday (02/05), President López Obrador announced a package of 20 reforms, which he hopes will be passed by the legislature before the end of his term in office in October. 

Out of these 20 reforms, 18 require changes to the Constitution, while the remaining 2 are legal reforms. Key reforms include: a pension reform that will provide retired citizens with pensions equal to 100% of their final salary, a ban on the sale of synthetic drugs like fentanyl, a judicial reform so that judges will be elected by popular vote, and an electoral reform that reduces the number of seats in the national legislature. 

These proposed reforms will now be reviewed in the Lower House of Congress, and they require a two-thirds majority in each House in order to be passed, which AMLO’s Morena party does not have. 

US-Mexico discussions on migration continue

President López Obrador hosted a delegation of US officials in Mexico City on Tuesday (02/06) to continue bilateral talks on migration. This meeting follows a call that López Obrador had with US President Joe Biden over the weekend in which AMLO presented his US counterpart with ten action points on migration. 

In his ten proposed action points, AMLO not only emphasized the importance of maintaining a cooperative relationship between Mexico and the US, but he also encouraged Biden to consider other nations in the region when developing measures to deal with migration. Specifically, he proposed a $20 million budget per year to support vulnerable countries in Latin America, in order to address the root causes of individuals leaving their home countries and migrating through Mexico towards the US. 

Other notable points in AMLO’s proposal to Biden are: create a joint development plan for trade and industrialization that can lead to integration throughout the continent, regulate arms trafficking from the US into Mexico, and suspend sanctions on Venezuela, all of which AMLO believes would lead to lower levels of migration. 

However, López Obrador did mention that he considered canceling the meeting with the US delegation after the publication of a report last week, which cited an investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Agency into a link between drug cartels and the financing of his 2006 presidential campaign. 

Mexico overtakes China as top trade partner of the US

According to data published on Wednesday (02/07) by the United States Census Bureau, Mexico was the United States’ top trading partner in 2023, surpassing China in value of imported goods for the first time since 2002. 

The new data reveals that the US imported more that $475 billion in goods and services from Mexico in 2023, meaning that Mexico’s share of US total imports in 2023 was 15.5%, a record high for any country. While the value of US imports from China fell by 20% in 2023, the value of US imports from Mexico rose by 5%, demonstrating the “nearshoring” or “friendshoring” phenomenon of recent years, which involves countries seeking trade and investment with other countries of close geographic proximity. 

Xóchitl Gálvez in the US

On Monday (02/05), opposition presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez continued her visit to the United States with a speech at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., in which she highlighted the threat that Mexico faces with the influence of organized crime, and urged the democratic world to pay close attention to Mexico’s upcoming elections in June.

Gálvez criticized President López Obrador and his party, Morena, for “flirting” with Russia and China, as well as being lenient with the drug cartels. The candidate said that the greatest threat facing Mexico is the power and influence of organized crime, especially in relation to elections and democratic governance. 

She encouraged the United States to view the relationship with Mexico as more positive and more complex than just dealing with fentanyl and migration, and she called for democracies of the world to observe Mexico’s election cycle closely, as this election will determine the future of Mexico’s democracy, which will have a worldwide impact. 

About the Author

Lauren TerMaat

Lauren TerMaat

Staff Assistant Intern, Mexico Institute
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more