President López Obrador said Thursday he welcomes a new code of ethics being prepared by the private sector.
“I want to emphasize that there is a very positive attitude in the private sector of the country. I’ve even been informed . . . by the leaders of the country’s businesses that they are working on a code of business ethics,” he told reporters.
“It is necessary that what happened here in Mexico does not happen again: foreign companies bribing to get fat contracts with excessive profits, to the detriment of the public treasury.”
He condemned domestic and foreign companies that have profited at the country’s expense, mentioning Respsol Energy and OHL Construction of Spain, and the Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate Odebrecht.
“Many companies got used to getting their tax debts forgiven. In any other country of the world, it would be a scandal to know that in Mexico big companies [and] banks didn’t pay their taxes, or they were returned to them, written off, causing low collection rates. The entire fiscal burden was carried by the lower and middle classes, the workers, of course,” he said.
The president mentioned that the private sector in the United States has changed its code of ethics, which now includes a commitment to reasonable profits, fair treatment of workers and respect for the environment.
He noted that his government is not opposed to the private sector because whoever earns reasonable profits, complies with their fiscal responsibility, makes investments and creates jobs deserves respect.
“We’re opposed to ill-gotten riches, to those who traffic in influence,” he said.