Mexican president appoints head of tax agency for economy department

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday he has chosen the head of the country’s tax agency to serve as cabinet-level economic secretary.

The nomination of Raquel Buenrostro for the post comes a day after the emotional resignation of Tatiana Clouthier.

Buenrostro, who served for more than two decades in government tax, treasury and economic agencies, was welcomed by Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council, which said in a statement “we have confidence in his ability to contribute to the public and business economic development. ”

However, Clouthier was seen as a nexus to the Mexican business community, a role Buenrostro is unlikely to fill.

While Clouthier came from a conservative background and was in touch with northern Mexico’s industrial elite, as head of the tax collection agency, Buenrostro waged a relentless and often tense campaign to force corporations to pay more taxes.

Clouthier resigned Thursday in an emotional speech in which her voice cracked as she thanked the president, but in which she gave no specific reason for leaving.

Buenrostro will face a number of US trade tensions. Mexico is currently locked in a controversy with the United States over plans to favor Mexico’s electric utility over private and foreign companies.

López Obrador has had persistent difficulties maintaining ties with the business world.

Other cabinet members with business ties had already resigned, including former chief of staff Alfonso Romo, whom López Obrador described as his “main liaison” with the corporate sector.

Carlos Urzua resigned as Treasury Secretary in 2019.

López Obrador enacted policies to raise the minimum wage and promote the kind of large state-owned enterprises his predecessors had suppressed.

Esther L. Steinbach