About the controversial chapter 8 of the Mexico-United States-Canada Treaty (T-MEC) with which the Federal Government asks to defend its energy sovereignty, the former Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardorecalled a story that links Jesús Seade, who was a negotiator for the transition team of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Robert Lighthizer, US trade representative.
During his participation in The Red ChairGuajardo explained that one of the nights of the negotiation a letter arrived from Jesús Seade to Lighthizer, in which he said that he had the mandate of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who had not yet assumed the Presidency, of withdraw all energy commitments of the T-MEC negotiations.
The next day, Seade’s document was treated as “insulting” by Lighthizer, who considered as a lack of respect that the United States be offered discriminatory treatment, being the purchasing country of around 80 percent of Mexican exports.
When Seade asked why the letter with López Obrador’s requests was singled out as “insulting,” Lighthizer responded:
“You are offering discriminatory treatment lower than what you give today to the countries of the PPP (Puebla Panama Project), CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership) and what you have in the agreement that you have just closed with Europe, then do not insult me, I am your main buyer with more than 80 percent of your exports, then It is unacceptable what you are putting on the table.”
Guajardo explained that “as an old sea dog,” Lighthizer did not meet Seade alone, but rather I invite former counselor Jared Kushnerthe former Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray, and Guajardo himself at the meeting.
The former Secretary of Economy explained that at that time the period of impasse in the negotiation began, and at that time he considered that the transition team (made up of part of the López Obrador cabinet that would take office once the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto ) started having an internal debate.
He added by noting that Jesus Seade “did not sleep” in those days and that he traveled a lot from the United States to Mexico, and that within the internal debate was Manuel Barlett, general director of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and Rocío Nahle, secretary of Energy; and on the other was Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Alfonso Romo, former head of the presidential office, because there were differences.
He explained that in the end “they decided to remove this chapter 8 of cooperation to endorse the two paragraphs that are part of our constitutional framework. With that they somehow shielded the speech (of López Obrador).