U.S. agrees to extend T-MEC consultations on energy policy

The minimum amount of time of 75 days for negotiations between Mexico and the United States to establish an agreement on energy problems as part of the T-MEC has been fulfilled.

U.S. agrees to extend T-MEC consultations on energy policy
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during the morning press conference. The United States and Mexico will continue their energy negotiations under the T-MEC. Photo: Agencies

Instead of asking for arbitration right away, the Biden Administration will keep talking with Mexico about the country's energy policy after the minimum amount of time required by its trade agreement.

Monday was the end of the first 75-day window to agree before the U.S. could ask for a dispute settlement panel. However, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement for 2020 allows for more time to talk if everyone agrees.

After requesting consultations in July and starting them in August, the U.S. hopes to "maintain this positive momentum to resolve these concerns raised by energy producers in that country and advance North American competitiveness," a spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.

In July, the United States and Canada complained about President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government's nationalist energy policy, saying that it hurts their companies that want to do business in the Latin American country.

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Mexico's energy policy violates Chapter 2 of the treaty dedicated to market access, especially national treatment and import and export restrictions. Also, violations of Chapter 14 dedicated to investment, as well as Chapter 22 on state-owned enterprises, which call for equal rules to compete in the market,

Mexico's Finance Ministry said in a statement that it shares "the willingness of our partners to continue moving forward through dialogue and, without prejudice to the rights provided for in the T-MEC, we wish to continue joint efforts to explore a mutually satisfactory solution."