According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), on Wednesday, President Andres Lopez Obrador mockingly dismissed the Biden administration’s recent threats to take actions possibly leading to tariffs imposed on Mexican goods.
When asked about possible U.S. dispute settlements under the United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Obrador sarcastically said, “Ooooh, I’m so scared.” He was questioned because Unites States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the U.S. request for dispute settlement consultations, which could end up placing penalties on some Mexican exports if the two sides cannot come to an agreement.
The WSJ also reported that Mexico is the United States’ second largest trading partner behind Canada, but Obrador and President Joe Biden have been increasingly at odds in recent months, including on matters of trade policy, energy and the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”
However, U.S. officials and energy companies allege that Mexico is favoring its state-owned energy companies inviolation of USMCA on things like pricing, emissions standards, and contract terms, according to the NYT.
The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) said a spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative told them, “Mexico’s energy policies adversely impact U.S. companies that want to invest and grow in Mexico, and are inconsistent with Mexico’s commitments under the USMCA. They also roll back the reforms Mexico previously made to meet its climate and environmental goals under the Paris Agreement.”
The USMCA’s dispute settlement system says the U.S. and Mexico now have thirty days to begin consultations, areport from WSJ said. If those do not yield a resolution, the U.S. could request a panel of experts to mediate the dispute, and ultimately impose tariffs on Mexican goods to counterbalance the damage done to U.S. companies, the WSJ added.
A Canadian government spokeswoman told the WSJ, “Canada has consistently raised its concerns regarding Mexico’s change in energy policy. We agree with the United States that these policies are inconsistent with Mexico’s obligations.”
The Mexican Economic Ministry wasn’t as rude as Obrador, issuing a statement Wednesday that “The Government of Mexico expresses its willingness to reach a mutually satisfactory solution during the consultation phase.”
We appreciate our friends at DCNF, NYT and WSJ for content in this article.