Digital MagazineMagazineYear 2021

Strengthening the North American Energy Supply Chain: How the private sector can make the difference


Even though the USMCA negotiations reinforced the already high integration level between the three countries, developing a North American energy agenda remains a complex issue to tackle.

international society for mexico energy (isme)

By The International Society for Mexico Energy (ISME)

The world is starting a new decade, which will be marked by a deep economic crisis and increased uncertainty. Managing these circumstances will be a priority for governments and the private sector. The disruption of COVID-19 and the measures deployed to respond to the new environment have impacted all regions and societies.

In this context, a renovated trade treaty between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, has entered into force, with the redefinition of supply chains and trade patterns at its core. Moreover, new consumption trends are emerging while a new sustainable agenda is shaping. Industries are accelerating their transition to comply with new environmental, governance, and social standards.

Under this scenario, the energy sector is also transforming and adapting to the new rules. In this new world, competitiveness and economic growth will depend on how these new challenges are addressed. Therefore, energy policy and trade are key drivers for industrial success, which in turn will be material for economic recovery in a post-COVID North American region.

Possibly of your interest: Could the USMCA protect your energy investment?

A North American Energy Supply Chain

Achieving a strong and integrated North American energy supply chain is of critical importance for the three countries to remain globally competitive as a block.

Even though the USMCA negotiations reinforced the already high integration level between the three countries; developing a North American energy agenda remains a complex issue to tackle, especially for government agencies with limited administration terms and changing priorities.

“The opportunity is for the private sector to take the lead. Companies, organizations, and professionals can greatly benefit each other by becoming more integrated -as a community,” said Noe H. Saenz, president of the Houston-based non-profit organization, International Society for Mexico Energy (ISME), and associate at Burns & McDonnell.

In this regard, ISME organized a Trilateral Taskforce in mid-2020 to plan and organize a series of trade webinars to identify a series of ideas and to start conversations between stakeholders on how to strengthen the energy supply chain as a North American block.

“The webinar series were aimed to find common ground and to generate proposals for solutions; the idea of further integration has yet to be reconciled;” said Karla Mendoza, founding partner of the public affairs firm, Agile, and ISME’s public affairs advisor.

A post-pandemic economy

“The relationship between the three countries will necessarily evolve and change as a result of the global post-pandemic economy, and the private energy sector will play a key role in helping to set an agenda, proposing ideas for policy development, and infusing a spirit of integration in the region,” said Andrea Calo, Mexico Market Intelligence Director of Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and ISME’s Membership vice president.

The natural question then is, who should start? And how and where to begin? This is where ISME has stepped up, by organizing its trilateral taskforce and by managing the 2020 trilateral trade webinar series that will continue in 2021.

“The webinar series will continue promoting knowledge-sharing and collaboration across the energy supply chains between the three countries,” said Sandy Basler, ISME’s Administration vice president and chairwoman of its Trilateral Committee.

ISME will be presenting the three main conclusions from the 2020 trilateral series in a Free Webinar on Wednesday, January 27th, at 12 pm central time. You can register at

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