Canadian investments in Mexico, especially in mining and a gas pipeline project for the Mexican southeast, as well as the problems of Canadian companies in the electricity sector were the focus of Wednesday’s meeting between President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the Prime Minister of Canada. , Justin Trudeau.
The meeting was held after the summit of the three North American leaders, which was also attended by the American Joe Biden and which took place the day before with the shared objective of having a stronger North America in terms of economics, trade and the management of the migration.
Lopez Obrador and Trudeau had a private meeting before the meeting with their delegations.
The opening of the work table was, however, very different from the bilateral one with the United States. Faced with the harsh exchange of messages with Biden, everything was in harmony with Trudeau.
The Mexican celebrated that Canadian investments in Mexico are on the rise and said that this is why problems arise. But he promised Trudeau to “receive companies that may have pending issues, some disagreement with the government’s attitude.” “We are always open to dialogue,” he added.
Canada, together with the United States, have an open controversy in which they accuse Mexico of breaching the North American free trade agreement, the T-MEC, since the country has laws in the electricity sector that favor Mexican state energy companies over investors private and foreign, focused on clean energy.
In a meeting with journalists after the summit, the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, indicated that the energy controversy continues to be addressed through the specific channels that the free trade agreement has for it. “That is why the T-MEC was created,” he indicated. “When there are differences, that is the way where they have to be resolved.”
Justin Trudeau described the alliance with Mexico as “very solid”, indicated that this relationship has deepened in recent years and said that both leaders were working to further strengthen those ties and the common contribution to the North American alliance.
Among the investments underway, the Mexican president highlighted a “large and very important” thanks to which a gas pipeline will be built to supply natural gas to the Mexican southeast, a project of the firm TC Energy -also known as TransCanada-, for 4,500 million of dollars.
According to a statement from the company a few months ago, the gas pipeline will have more than 700 kilometers, it is expected to come into service in mid-2025 and it will start on land, in Tuxpan (Veracruz) —center of the Gulf of Mexico—, to continue offshore and reach the isthmus area, the narrowest part of Mexico where the government wants to promote a corridor with several industrial centers.
Trudeau emphasized that both Mexico and Canada are “progressive countries that put equality, justice, opportunities for all first” and job creation as well as environmental protection and support for indigenous peoples and women.
The presidents did not offer details about investments in mining, exploitations that in Mexico —as in other countries— are the object of criticism by environmental and human rights groups.
Canadian companies have some of the largest mining operations in the country, especially gold and silver.
Lopez Obrador has boasted that during his administration no concessions have been granted to new exploitations, although his government is very interested in exploiting lithium deposits in the north of the country.
Hours after the meeting, it was announced that Mexico and Canada won a complaint against the United States on how to apply the content requirements of the automotive sector within the framework of the T-MEC.
According to the dispute panel, the interpretation of the rules by the United States is “inconsistent” with the USMCA.
The panel determined that “the T-MEC allows vehicle manufacturers to consider the essential parts of a finished vehicle (engine, transmission, bodywork, etc.) as originating, once, separately, said auto parts have complied with the minimum percentage of regional content (75%), using the alternative methodologies that the same treaty establishes”, indicated the Ministry of Economy of Mexico in a statement.
Mexico informed that in the next few days it will begin a process of dialogue and cooperation with its partners for the attention of the final report.
AP writer Mark Stevenson contributed to this story.
This story was originally published on January 12, 2023 2:48 p.m.
Source: El Nuevo Herald