AMLO strikes conciliatory tone with US amidst energy dispute
September 14, 2022
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) implementation of energy policies focused on “energy sovereignty” in Mexico has caused conflict with both the United States and Canada, as the northern countries argue that the promotion of Mexican state-run companies over private sector companies are discriminatory against international companies and do not abide by the United States - Mexico - Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement (see 7/29 LADB).
Relations have been tense since the US’s announcement that it would “(demand) dispute settlement talks.” But in a meeting on Monday between AMLO and high-level US officials, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, AMLO indicated that President Biden had “responded to his concerns positively” and that there was “a different tone… a reaffirmation of respect for our national sovereignty,” reports Reuters. Officials were meeting as part of a High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), an annual meeting aimed at deepening economic ties between the two countries. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo was also present.
Separately, the countries also agreed to cooperate on the production of semiconductors and electric vehicles, especially through Mexico’s newly-nationalized lithium industry, according to AP. These efforts aim not only to strengthen supply chains in North America, but also to serve as an alternative to Asia’s current advantage in the semiconductor and battery market. Other topics addressed in AMLO’s Monday news conference included migration and promoting development in Mexico and Central America, Mexico’s high rates of violence, and the war in Russia and Ukraine, among others.
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