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Mexico’s energy reform strains ties with US

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s plan to favour its own state-owned electrical power plants and limit energy sales by private, foreign-built projects could affect United States (US) investment in Mexico, officials said during bilateral talks this week.

According to statements issued on Friday, the US government has “real concerns with the potential negative impact” on US firms and investments.

“In each meeting, we expressly conveyed the Biden-Harris Administration’s real concerns with the potential negative impact of Mexico’s proposed energy reforms on US private investment in Mexico,” according to a statement by US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm. “The proposed reform could also hinder US-Mexico joint efforts on clean energy and climate”.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he received a list of US and Canadian firms who had voiced complaints and said he would “review them if they believe there has been an injustice”.

Granholm said, “I was assured that Mexico is committed to supporting clean energy and resolving current disputes with energy projects within the rule of law.”

Last year López Obrador proposed a constitutional reform to restrict sales by private power generators and favour Mexico’s state-owned utility company.

The bill that López Obrador submitted in October would cancel contracts under which 34 private plants sell power into the national grid. The plan would also declare “illegal” an additional 239 private plants that sell energy directly to corporate clients in Mexico.

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