OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Americans have never been shy about crossing borders to find goods and services at a cheaper rate.
Especially traveling to the two countries that border the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. to procure anything from food or building supplies to household items and even medical care and pharmaceuticals.
Usually, these are goods or services that are either not available at home or the price is so exorbitantly less that it makes the trip worthwhile.
But the practice was almost unheard of for gasoline before the price rose exorbitantly under Biden’s administration.
The rising gasoline prices have hurt countless industries, from the nuts and bolts of moving goods to personal and professional travel and everyday commuting and household chores.
For one thing, the gas would be used to get the vehicle across the border, and the vehicle will burn some of the purchase just coming back home.
But even if gas is considerably cheaper in another country than in the United States, crossing the border to fill your gas tank isn’t as practical as it might seem in other ways as well.
It can take as long as two hours to re-enter the United States at ports of entry near major American cities, so that is time spent in addition to the time it takes to drive from home to the foreign gas destination.
This past spring, when gas prices rose in California to as much as $6 per gallon and the U.S. national average was around $4.24 per gallon, some Californians were driving to Mexico to buy gas at around $3.96 per gallon, about $2 lower per gallon.
Even drivers in Texas were making the trip.
Granted, if you’re filling up a work truck, and you don’t live far from the location of the foreign gas, you might save enough money to make the trip worth it, especially if you cross the border at a port of entry that isn’t as crowded.
That seems to be what the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador thinks; that driving to Mexico for gas is definitely worth the trip.
President Obrador has been in power since December, 2018 and has been trying to transform Mexico into a gasoline self-sufficient county.
He took office with the promise to revive state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and achieve energy independence.
Gas prices have remained relatively stable in Mexico since the rise in prices following the war in Ukraine, thanks to the fact that Obrador has provided subsidies to Mexican oil companies and refineries.
The director of the Center for US-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego, Rafael Fernandez deCastro Medina told Newsweek that Obrador is “someone who thinks like someone in the 1970’s, he really thinks about how important it is for a sovereign country to be independent in gasoline.”
“So what he’s doing right now,” Medina continued, “he’s not only having a negative tax – the IEPS – for gasoline, but he’s also heavily subsidizing gasoline now.”
In December 2021, Pemex announced that it would have to drastically reduce its crude oil export in order to meet the Obrador administration’s plans to have all of Mexico’s oil refined domestically.
Pemex is “the single most indebted oil company in the world,” Medina noted.
And now Obrador made his point about buying gas in Mexico to President Biden in a recent White House meeting.
During a Tuesday White House meeting with President Joe Biden, The President of Mexico urged Americans to buy cheaper gas south of the border.
Biden initially spoke, followed by Obrador.
Obrador spoke for more than 25 minutes after Biden, suggesting a migrant worker visa program long sought by corporate interests that rely on cheap labor instead of American workers.
“And right now, a lot of drivers, a lot of Americans are going to Mexico — to the Mexican border — to get their gasoline,” López Obrador said.
“We are committed to guaranteeing twice as much supply,” he added.
“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,” López Obrador continued.
“And right now a gallon of regular costs $4.78 average on the [US] side of the border and on our territory, $3.12.”
Biden cut in, bragging about gas prices decreasing from the all-time high in June. “They’ve come down for a few days in a row.”
The Mexican president even took a partisan shot at American conservatives in the White House meeting, urging Biden to stay the course on his hands-off approach to immigration enforcement.
“I know that your adversaries, the conservatives, are going to be screaming all over the place,” he said.
“Even to heaven. They’re going to be yelling at heaven.”
Biden responded with a smile.
Both leaders appeared to have read scripts during a public segment of the meeting, Western Journal noted.
Watch the Video here: