Mexico City, Jan. 11 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden and Mexico’s president pledged this week to work together to tackle and promote drug trafficking and illegal immigration economic integration – while quietly overlooking major controversies over energy.
Not for the first time, the leaders of both countries have found common ground on managing their common borders. rift This is what Mexico’s nationalist energy policy has brought to the United States and Canada.
Prior to his visit to the Mexican capital, Biden began with a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by a summit, where the illegal use of fentanyl, the deadly opioid responsible for thousands of deaths in the U.S. I thanked Mexico for its help in slowing transit and curbing trafficking.
US officials have said energy issues will be discussed at the talks, but neither Biden nor Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned them in official statements at the talks on Monday and Tuesday.
“There is a perception that the Mexican government controls the border, and I think this has stopped the US government from acting and applying pressure. , said about the energy line.
The State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Under pressure from Republican opponents to block record illegal immigration, the Democratic Biden administration has focused much of its dealings with Mexico on border security.
Illegal border crossings hit a record high in 2022, and the US last week launched a new plan to allow more migrants to be sent back to Mexico under provisions first rolled out under former President Donald Trump. Announced.
Mr. Trump has threatened Mexico with trade tariffs if it doesn’t stop the flow of migrants, but has done little to criticize Mr. Lopez Obrador for energy policies that U.S. companies say are unfair. It was only under Biden that formal steps were launched to challenge them.
And the Biden administration Contact US Energy Company Ahead of the Mexico City summit, he asked how Mexican policies have affected business operations in Mexico, according to documents seen by Reuters.
Lopez Obrador has made strengthening Mexico’s national energy company a cornerstone of his administration, prioritizing state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) over private companies in connecting power plants to the grid. increase.
Washington and Ottawa allege his actions discriminate against their companies and violate the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.
CFE and state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) are heavily dependent on fossil fuels and have stepped up efforts to win business from Asia by prioritizing fossil fuels over private solar and wind companies. Among them, investor interest in Mexico is declining.
Lopez Obrador compromised on some economic policies and moved a potential ban on genetically engineered corn to the next administration.
The United States, then Canada, began dispute resolution proceedings against Mexico in July, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who met with Biden and Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, said: Raising Energy Issues with Mexico on Wednesday.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard warns that energy will not feature prominently in US-Mexico-Canada talks, says resolution process underway and leaders do not want summit to turn into dispute panel said.
Two Mexican officials said little progress had been made in the energy dispute between Mexico and Washington this week.
When asked on Wednesday what progress had been made in the dispute, U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar said talks aimed at resolving it were underway, adding that the two countries would move forward in using renewable energy. encouraged to cooperate.
At the press conference after the trilateral meeting on Tuesday, all three leaders were asked by reporters if they had discussed energy clashes as part of a series of questions.
Lopez Obrador answered some of his other questions before launching into a lengthy speech that turned to many of his usual topics.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; additional reporting by Daina Beth Solomon, Matt Spetalnick, Jarrett Renshaw, Steve Holland; editing by Christian Plumb and Alistair Bell)
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