Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador jabbed at President Joe Biden during an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday, noting that American citizens had been crossing the southern border in order to buy gas at a cheaper price.
López Obrador, according to several sources, treated Biden to a lengthy speech when they met at the White House. He covered a range of topics, calling for more formal policies with regard to immigration and ribbing Biden over the high cost of gas in the United States.
“Extraordinary — AMLO has been speaking for 25 minutes in the Oval, offering Biden a lengthy soliloquy about the New Deal, gas prices, and opportunities for greater economic collaboration,” Los Angeles Times White House reporter Eli Stokols tweeted. “He is still going …”
Most awkward part was when AMLO told Biden Mexico is letting Americans cross the border to buy gas because it’s $1 cheaper per gallon.
Biden, when he finally finished after 31 minutes, reminded him that the US economic growth is leading the world.
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) July 12, 2022
“Most awkward part was when AMLO told Biden Mexico is letting Americans cross the border to buy gas because it’s $1 cheaper per gallon,” he added. “Biden, when he finally finished after 31 minutes, reminded him that the U.S. economic growth is leading the world. And scene.”
López Obrador’s administration moved to subsidize gasoline several weeks ago in an effort to keep prices stable amid rampant inflation — and the resulting prices at the pump have been lower than those in the United States.
“While we’re waiting for prices or gasoline to go down in the United States, we have decided that it was necessary for us to allow Americans who live close to the border … to go and get their gasoline on the Mexican side at lower prices,” he told Biden.
López Obrador concluded his remarks with a call for better policies at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that Biden should move forward despite opposition from conservatives.
“It is indispensable for us to regularize and give certainty to migrants that for years have lived and worked in a very honest manner,” he said, adding, “I know that your adversaries the conservatives are going to be screaming all over the place. Even to the heaven they’re going to be yelling.”
Relations between the U.S. and Mexico have been somewhat strained in recent weeks — López Obrador boycotted last month’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles after the Biden Administration did not invite Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to participate due to the authoritarian nature of their governments.
“There cannot be a summit if all countries are not invited,” López Obrador said at the time.