Mexican president bizarrely mocks Biden by playing pop song ‘Ooh So Scared’ at press conference

Andrés Manuel López Obrador played a tune by Tabasco singer Chico Che.

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
,María Luisa Arredondo
Wednesday 20 July 2022 22:48 BST
(AFP via Getty Images)

The president of Mexico bizarrely mocked Joe Biden this week by getting staff to play a song entitled “Ooo, so scaredduring a press conference after the US demanded trade dispute talks over the country’s energy policies.

The move, which could lead to US tariffs against Mexico, was laughed off by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who played the song “Uy, qué miedo” by Tabasco singer Chico Che.

"They are going [to give us a call] so that we can explain the energy policy of our country. Let’s see if you can find my countryman Chico Che, the one with "Uy, qué miedo" [song]... we have to keep going, there is still time," said the country’s populist president during the conference.

The incident took place after the Biden administration requested dispute settlement talks with Mexico under the T-MEC for policies that it considers harmful to US companies in the energy sector and that favor the CFE (Federal Electricity Commission) and PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos).

In making the announcement, the United States trade representative, Katherine Tai, pointed out that the Mexican government has implemented changes in its energy policies that are contrary to the T-MEC because "they affect the economic interests of the United States in multiple sectors and discourage the investment of clean energy providers and companies that seek to buy clean energy and confiable".

Ms Tai specified that Mexico’s actions include amendments to the electricity law that give priority to the distribution of energy generated by the CFE, over renewable energy sources such as wind and solar provided by the private sector. The official added that the Mexican government has also delayed, denied and even revoked the capacities of US companies to operate in the energy sector in Mexico.

Ms Tai stressed in a statement that if attempts to resolve the dispute are unsuccessful, the Biden administration could implement punitive tariffs for Mexico.

López Obrador stated that the request for dispute resolution stems from “disagreement promoted by some businessmen,” whom he described as being more conservative and to the right than former President Donald Trump.

"Now there is a disagreement promoted by some businessmen, more than anything from our country, more than from the United States and Canadians about our energy policy. Yesterday it was formally announced that a review is going to be requested, a clarification about our policy in energy matters because it supposedly affects the treaty we have with Canada and the United States,” he added.

"They are already talking about that now yes, as if celebrating that we are sanctioned for our energy policy, well, they are more conservative, they are more to the right, although it seems incredible, I am referring to this group, Iberdrola is also there and others, that Trump himself, although it seems incredible," he said.

AMLO recalled that when the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada was negotiated, the government of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, agreed to one of the chapters to a policy that he claims is "in violation of our sovereignty in energy matters.”

"And since we were observers, I was the president elect, I said that we did not accept it and that it would not be approved in the Senate if that chapter was sustained. The talks stopped for about a week, 10 days, pressure of all kinds from the Mexican government because they had already accepted,” continued López Obrador.

"[The person in charge of] Economy, in the previous administration, and other public servants, with this whole group and we said no. President Peña spoke to me like twice, very worried that the negotiations were going to come to a halt, and that we were heading towards great devaluation and a serious crisis. Well no, we cannot do this; how are we going to compromise our sovereignty?”

Obrador went on to say that talks ultimately broke down because no one “wanted to inform President Trump of what was happening.”

“They decided to inform him, (...) and President Trump said ‘see what they want in Mexico’ and we wrote the chapter and there were two paragraphs that have to do with the nation’s dominance over our energy policy," he explained.

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