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U.S. And Mexico Extend Energy Discussions After Failing To Resolve Dispute

The United States and Mexico will continue talks aimed at settling an energy policy dispute after failing to reach an agreement within the set minimum period, Bloomberg has reported, citing the sides chose to keep negotiating instead of the U.S. opting for arbitration.

It was the United States that requested the talks earlier this year, under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The issue for Washington was Mexico’s intention to return market control to the hands of state-owned entities, prioritizing them over private players - including U.S. companies - in the energy market. Canada also complained about Mexico’s energy policy.

“We have repeatedly expressed serious concerns about a series of changes in Mexico’s energy policies and their consistency with Mexico’s commitments under the USMCA,” United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in July.

The Mexican side said at the time that “We want to take advantage of this consultation phase... to see how we can reach a mutually satisfactory solution through an open, frank and constructive dialogue, which will allow us to overcome these differences.”

The two sides had 75 days to either come to an agreement on the issues at hand or go to arbitration, to be initiated by the United States. However, per the Bloomberg report, the U.S. has instead chosen to continue the consultations with the Lopez Obrador administration in Mexico.

The Biden administration hoped, a spokesperson for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said, “to maintain this positive momentum to resolve these concerns raised by US energy producers and to advance North American competitiveness.” 

The Mexican Economy Ministry said, as quoted by Bloomberg, that it shared “the will of our partners to continue advancing through dialogue and without prejudice to the rights provided by the USMCA, we wish to continue joint efforts to explore a mutually satisfactory solution.”

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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