The Biden administration has initiated formal consultations on the resolution of disputes against México bajo el T-MEC for policies that consider harmful to the companies estadounidenses del sector energético y que favorecen de manera unjusta a la CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad) ya PEMEX ( Petroleos of Mexico).
In making this announcement, the United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, He pointed out that the Mexican government has implemented changes in its energy policies that are contrary to T-MEC because “they affect the economic interests of the United States in multiple sectors and discourage investment from clean energy providers. and businesses looking to buy clean, reliable energy.”
Tai said Mexico’s actions include amendments to the electricity law that prioritize the distribution of energy produced by the CFE, over renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. provided by the private sector. The official added that the Mexican government has also delayed, denied and even revoked the abilities of American companies to operate in the energy sector in Mexico.
In a statement, Tai stressed that if attempts to resolve the dispute fail, the Biden administration could implement punitive tariffs for Mexico.
The warning didn’t seem to affect Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, however, who responded during his morning conference with the song “Ouch, what a fear”, by Tabasco singer Chico Che.
“That they are going to hold us to account so that we explain to them the energy policy of our country, to see if you can have my compatriot Chico Che, the one with “Uy what a fear”… we have to continue, there he is still time,” said the general manager.
AMLO attacks businessmen
López Obrador said the dispute settlement request stems from a disagreement promoted more than anything by Mexican businessmen, whom he described as more conservative and right-wing than former President Donald Trump.
“Now there is a disagreement promoted by some businessmen, more than anything from our country, more than from the United States and Canadians on our energy policy. Yesterday it was officially announced that a review was going to be requested, a clarification on our energy policy because it supposedly affects the treaty we have with Canada and the United States.
“They are already talking that now yes, as if to celebrate that we have been sanctioned for our energy policy, well, they are more conservative, they are more on the right, even if it seems incredible, I am referring to this group, Iberdrola is also there and others, than Trump himself, unbelievable as that sounds,” he said.
AMLO recalled that during the negotiation of the treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada, the government of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, committed itself in one of the chapters to a policy which, in his opinion , is “in violation of our sovereignty in energy matters”.
“And since we were observers, he was president-elect, I said that we do not accept it and that it will not be approved in the Senate if this chapter takes place. The talks have been stalled for about a week, 10 days , pressure of all kinds from the Mexican government because they had already agreed.
“Whoever was in the Economy, in the previous government, and other officials, with all this group and we said no, President Peña spoke to me like twice, very worried is that the negotiations are going to fail, it’s going to happen to us a devaluation and a serious crisis, well no, we can’t do that how are we going to compromise our sovereignty and the talks failed, in the end, because nobody wanted to inform the president trump what was going on they decided to brief him the negotiator on the united states and president trump said see what they want in mexico and we wrote the chapter and there were two paragraphs that have to do with the nation’s dominance over our energy policy,” he explained.
United States point of view
However, corporate America and the Biden administration differ from López Obrador’s perspective.
Representatives of the USTR (United States Trade Office) They said Mexico’s actions to limit competition in the energy sector have made it increasingly difficult for US companies to do business there because of the favorable treatment Pemex and the CFE receive. And they pointed out that these practices appear to violate T-MEC.
This agreement, which entered into force two years ago and signed between Mexico, the United States and Canada, prohibits signatory countries from implementing policies that discriminate against others and obliges them to reduce the use of public companies.
USTR representatives pointed out that, on several occasions, Washington raised its objections to Mexico regarding energy policy without obtaining a favorable response.
In accordance with the provisions of the T-MEC, the parties have 30 days to resolve their differences after requesting a consultation. If an agreement is not reached, the United States can ask a group of experts to analyze whether Mexico has respected the clauses of the T-MEC.
If the panel determines that Mexico has failed to comply with the provisions of the T-MEC and fails to make the necessary changes, the United States could seek the imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods. This scenario, as expressed by US officials, is not the goal. The ideal is to settle the dispute.
Regardless of what AMLO has expressed about this dispute, the Ministry of Economy said in a statement that “the Mexican government expresses its willingness to reach a mutually satisfactory solution during the consultation phase.” And he clarified that “the “Secretariat for the Economy is the dependency of the Federal Public Administration responsible for coordinating the defense of the Mexican State”.
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