The United States asks for fair competition in energy from Mexico

The United States asked Mexico for “fair competition” in the energy sector within the framework of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC).

The deputy trade representative of the United States, Jayme White, held a virtual meeting this Wednesday with the assistant secretary of Foreign Trade of Mexico, Luz María de la Mora, on the eve of the first meeting of T-MEC undersecretaries, organized virtually by Mexico.

“White emphasized the importance of additional priority areas, including effective fisheries management and marine species conservation; energy policies that promote fair competition and renewable energy production to combat climate change,” the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a press release.

White also highlighted science- and risk-based regulatory approaches in agriculture, and the approval of agricultural biotech products that can help farmers achieve sustainable production goals; further efforts to facilitate Commerce; market access for US electronic payment service providers in Mexico, and competition in Mexico’s telecommunications sector.

According to the statement, White and De la Mora highlighted the importance of the economic and commercial relationship between the United States and Mexico.

They also discussed the opportunity under USMCA for North America to lead the global effort to combat forced labor.

White emphasized the need for Mexico to fully implement the Treaty’s prohibition on the importation of goods produced with forced labor.

Previously, Kevin Brady, Republican leader of the House Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives, warned that if the electricity reform initiative in Mexico is approved, it would arbitrarily block investors.

On September 30, 2021, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a Bill to the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico to amend various provisions of the Mexican Constitution.

“If enacted, these amendments will prohibit the CFE from contracting with private investors to supply electricity in Mexico and revoke existing and pending electricity generation permits,” said Brady, in a letter addressed to Katherine Tai, head of the USTR.

For their part, in another letter to Tai, Ron Wyden, chairman of the United States Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Mike Crapo stated that Mexico suspended import permits for more than 80 energy companies to favor Pemex the CFE.

Wyden and Crapo asserted that Mexico has canceled permits for energy import facilities, putting US investment at risk; and is making progress on a constitutional reform project that would dissolve the Mexican electricity market, eliminate independent regulators and it would cancel the contracts and permits granted to private companies.

“Mexico’s actions deprive private energy companies, including renewable energy companies, of market access, non-discriminatory treatment, and a level playing field in Mexico’s energy sector,” they argued.

Previously, concerns similar to or including other alleged USMCA violations were raised with Tai by 40 US federal legislators, 19 US industry, trade, and research associations, US governors, and the American Petroleum Institute.

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