US Ambassador considers solution on Mexico’s electricity bill, US investment stresses


US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar attends a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico on November 9, 2021. REUTERS / Gustavo Graf

MEXICO CITY, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – The US ambassador to Mexico said on Tuesday he hoped concerns could be resolved over a controversial Mexican electricity bill that has alarmed private investors, underscoring the importance of US investments for the Mexican economy.

Ambassador Ken Salazar said last week that Washington had “serious concerns” about the initiative championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to strengthen state control over the electricity market in the country. detriment of private companies.

Speaking to reporters in Mexico City, Salazar said he believed a “resolution” was possible on the proposal, and pointed to the millions of dollars in investment US companies are bringing to the Mexican renewable energy sector. .

Business groups have expressed concern that the bill will violate Mexico’s trade and investment commitments with the United States and Canada, and Salazar said North America is destined to become more in addition economically integrated.

“So Mexico needs investment from American companies here in Mexico, not just in the energy area, but in many other areas as well, and we have had many meetings with companies that are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs all over Mexico, ”Salazar said.

“We must also make sure that we will have the energy necessary to develop the Mexican economy.”

The United States is by far Mexico’s largest trading partner and the largest provider of foreign direct investment.

While Salazar raised concerns last week, Mexico’s ruling party chose to postpone debate on the electricity bill until 2022, a possible sign that the government is ready to address concerns. .

Lopez Obrador has defended the electricity overhaul and related measures, arguing that previous Mexican governments rigged the energy sector in favor of private capital at the expense of consumers and Mexican state-run energy companies.

Reporting by Dave Graham, written by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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