Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he hoped to get an answer from the United States on a request made about COVID-19 vaccines when he holds a virtual meeting with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden later on Monday.
Reuters at the weekend reported Lopez Obrador is expected to ask Biden to consider sharing part of the U.S. vaccine supply, with Mexico aiming to pay back Washington once pharmaceutical companies have delivered on their orders.
Mexico has been frustrated by bottlenecks in vaccine supply and raised concerns that wealthy countries are hoarding them.
“We’d like to get an answer on a request that we’ve already made,” Lopez Obrador told reporters at a regular news conference. “And if President Biden considers it, he can give us an answer in the conversation … about the vaccines.”
He did not elaborate on the request, but said vaccines were very important to Mexico. Mexican magazine Proceso said Lopez Obrador had asked Biden for help on vaccines in January.
Immigration, security, climate change and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal were also likely to feature in their talks, Lopez Obrador said.
Lopez Obrador, a leftist, was also asked whether the two would discuss a contentious electricity bill he has championed which strengthens the position of the state-run electricity utility, the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE).
The president has cast the legislation as a matter of national sovereignty, arguing that past governments skewed the electricity market in favor of private operators.
Business groups have condemned the bill, saying it risks violating the USMCA and endangers Mexico’s renewable energy targets because it puts wind and solar generators at a disadvantage against the CFE, a heavy user of fossil fuels.
Lopez Obrador said their dialogue would be open, but that Biden respected Mexico’s sovereignty.