Today, in an interview with Bloomberg News, Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said the country will maintain an “open dialogue” with the U.S. and Canada regarding a new energy law that would favor Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) over private renewables companies.
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Particularly, the Minister pointed out that Mexico’s government is willing to work and alleviate the concerns of its North American counterparts. Mainly due to the country’s recent efforts to bolster CFE (the state’s electricity company) at the expense of private firms.
Criticism and Concerns
Indeed, President Joe Biden’s trade chief Katherine Tai criticized Mexico’s nationalist energy policies at a meeting this week. Also, her Canadian counterpart, Mary Ng, foresee these changes in Mexico to harm U.S. and Canadian investments in the country.
“Mexico is open to continuing the discussion with its partners under USMCA with respect to any concern on the modification of Mexico’s domestic laws and regulations on the electricity and energy sector;” Clouthier said in an email interview.
Besides, the economy minister defended the government’s approach to energy matters. Following President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s line, Clouthier supported Mexico’s amendments to the electricity law; since they are “part of its sovereign right to regulate.”
Thus, the Minister added that the government would work “with investors, both national and foreign. Accordingly, Clouthier said this would help create long-lasting relations and win-win cooperation schemes to benefit development in Mexico.
Part of a Larger Policy Effort
Indeed, the proposed law is part of Obrador’s longstanding effort to retribute Mexican energy giants (CFE and Petroleos Mexicanos) with their last-century dominance.
Thus, the President is pushing hard towards undoing the privatizations enacted by his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Additionally, Clouthier added the government would follow any decision made by Mexican courts. However, Mexico’s legislation is currently being challenged by companies and investors.
For instance, this month, a federal judge suspended parts of another recent law. This legislation would have expanded government control over the fuel market.
Clouthier talks about the auto industry in Mexico
In an interview with Bloomberg, Clouthier also said she would like to see the auto industry grow its manufacturing capacity in Mexico.
“We want to make sure that Ford’s presence in Mexico goes beyond the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, and Mexico City,” explained the Minister. So, “I want to make sure that business finds Mexico as the best place to invest; and that they know that they can establish operations in Mexico to grow their businesses.”