By KELIN DILLON
In a letter sent by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy Tatiana Clouthier on Thursday, March 31, the United States has now claimed that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial energy reform has put $10 billion of U.S. investment at risk, particularly when considering the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) treaty.
“Unfortunately, although we have tried to be constructive with the government of Mexico in addressing these concerns, there has been no change in Mexico’s (energy) policy,” read Tai’s letter. “U.S. companies continue to face arbitrary treatment and more than $10 billion in U.S. investment in Mexico, most of it in renewable energy facilities, is at risk now more than ever.”
While Tai’s $10 billion figure only took U.S. capital into account, international legal battles could bolster this number of lost investment up – especially if European companies are factored into the equation.
“I will consider all options available under the USMCA to address these concerns,” continued Tai’s letter. “Therefore, I urge your government to suspend these worrying actions and ensure that the rights of U.S. investors and exporters are protected.”
“The U.S. government has long raised serious concerns about a series of administrative, regulatory and legislative changes in Mexico’s energy policies that violate these fundamental obligations, including changes to the Electricity Industry Law in 2021,” Tai went on to say.
While the United States, particularly under the USMCA, should be able to express their input on Mexico’s energy policies, López Obrador has not been receptive.
Just last week, after a meeting with the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, AMLO once again doubled down on his actions, refusing to make any changes to Mexico’s energy policy after the five-hour-plus long meeting with Kerry.