Mexican president doubles down on energy strategy despite US, Canadian objection
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that requested consultations by the US and Canada under the USMCA trade deal are unfounded and infringe on Mexico’s sovereignty.
Lopez Obrador denounced the political interference following formal requests regarding alleged violations of the trilateral agreement.
“Even if it is the most important market in the world, if having access to that market means giving up sovereignty, we do not accept it. We will not surrender our independence to any foreign government,” he said at a news conference.
The US and Canada said Mexico has failed to adhere to the United States Mexico and Canada (USMCA) agreement, claiming that the southern partner has been “unfair” and biased toward their companies.
The complaints cite recent reforms to Mexico’s Constitution and legislation on its energy industry — which favor state-owned energy companies above private businesses — have resulted in the exclusion of American and Canadian companies.
Specifically, the consultations address the latest reforms to Mexico’s Energy Industry Law that aims to strengthen energy production and supply, relegating energy produced by the US and Canada to smaller market participation.
But Lopez Obrador defended the reforms by quoting Chapter 8 of the USMCA, which recognizes Mexico’s complete ownership of its hydrocarbons and the right to reform its Constitution and legislation as it pleases.
Despite the disagreements, Lopez Obrador denied any intention to pull back from the USMCA, saying it is not in the interest of Mexico, the US or Canada.
“You close the border to me, and you will harm yourself. In other words, these are different times,” he added.
The three sides have until Aug. 19 to settle the dispute.
The parties can request a dispute panel if an agreement is not reached.
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