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López Obrador rules out Mexico’s departure from the T-MEC due to dispute with the US and Canada

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ruled out this Thursday an eventual withdrawal of Mexico from the North American trade agreement T-MEC, as a result of a dispute with the United States and Canada in the energy sector.

“There is no possibility,” said the leftist president when responding, at his daily press conference, to a question about whether he sees an eventual exit from the regional pact.

The governments of the United States and Canada raised a controversy against Mexico’s energy policy last July, after a reform promoted by López Obrador that limits foreign participation in the sector.

“There is a good relationship, one of respect, whenever I speak with the president (American Joe) Biden repeats and repeats that he wants a relationship with us on an equal footing, with respect for our sovereignty,” he added.

He assured that despite these differences, foreign investments reach record levels (about 23,000 million dollars in the first half of this year). “We need each other. It would be very difficult for the US economy to function without the participation of Mexico,” he maintained.

Last Tuesday, a first meeting was held, virtually, between the three parties in which Mexico answered questions from its partners. This consultation phase can last 75 days and, if there is no agreement, an arbitration panel would be convened.

López Obrador considered that the claims, mainly from the United States, are unjustified and rejected that foreign governments give their opinion on Mexican laws.

The president confirmed that the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will visit Mexico on the occasion of a meeting of the High-Level Economic Dialogue, scheduled for September 11 and 12, and that, if requested by the US diplomat, he could receive him to discuss this matter.

The United States and Canada consider that the energy reform favors the state Federal Electricity Commission to the detriment of private firms, which in their opinion would violate T-MEC regulations.

Regulatory changes, which limit foreign and private participation in power generation, have also been criticized by companies from Spain, Italy and Canada.

López Obrador seeks to restore state control over energy generation through parliamentary reforms, now limited to secondary laws as they have not reached the necessary votes to modify the Constitution.

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