WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today convened a virtual roundtable discussion with Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady, Representative Veronica Escobar, and environmental NGOs, business associations, and U.S. companies about the troubling developments in Mexico’s energy sector and their implications for Mexico’s commitments under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Ambassador Tai began the discussion noting USTR’s serious concerns with the deteriorating trajectory of Mexico’s energy policies, including a series of ongoing actions the Mexican government has taken to increase state control over, and limit competition in, the energy sector. Ambassador Tai noted that USTR is actively assessing these developments, including the 2021 changes to Mexico’s Electric Power Industry Law.
Ambassador Tai heard directly from participants about these issues, including chronic permitting delays for renewable energy installations and abrupt closures of numerous fuel terminals near the U.S. border. Participants noted that these developments are weakening investor confidence in Mexico, at the expense of the environment, restricting U.S. fuel exports, and damaging efforts to enhance North American competitiveness as the U.S. government seeks to more fully implement the USMCA and meet broader environment and climate goals.
Environmental NGOs also shared their view that these developments cripple the expansion of renewable energy development in Mexico and hinder efforts to achieve environment and climate goals for communities throughout North America. Participants emphasized that the United States and Mexico should seek to strengthen, not weaken, capacities to protect the environment while promoting trade and investment in renewable energy that will combat climate change.
Ambassador Tai thanked the broad-ranging group for joining the conversation. She noted that Mexico’s energy policies damage the environment, U.S. business and investor interests in multiple sectors, and hamper joint efforts to mitigate climate change. Ambassador Tai concluded that she would take the input shared today into account as USTR continues to analyze Mexico’s compliance with its USMCA obligations.