Lopez Obrador denies US “punishment” over Mexico’s energy policy

Mexico City, Sep 13 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday denied any possible “punishment” from the United States over Mexico’s energy policy after the meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

“I was very much struck by the proactive, friendly attitude of the commerce secretary. Nothing about that they’re going to punish Mexico for its energy policy, which our adversaries would like and who go around rubbing their hands, trying to get us to fight,” the president said in his morning press conference.

AMLO, as he is known, said that “the words tariff and sanction were never even used, nothing” during the meeting with Blinken and Raimondo on Monday, when they were both in Mexico to take part in the High-Level Economic Dialogue, a bilateral consultation mechanism reactivated by Lopez Obrador and his US counterpart Joe Biden in September 2021.

The visit of the US officials came under the shadow of the consultation initiated by Washington last July within the parameters of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Mexican energy policy, with Washington accusing its southern neighbor of favoring state-run firms to the detriment of foreign investments.

But AMLO said that his government “does not have a single problem with any US company,” adding that he considered his meeting with Blinken and Raimondo, whom he called “very good people” and “very respectful,” to have been “very good.”

He emphasized that the two US Cabinet members were respectful of Mexico’s energy policy, “of our sovereignty, something that we’re very grateful for, the same stance that President Biden has (along with) the desire for all misunderstandings to be cleared up.”

The Mexican leader noted the agreements reached during the visit, including the joint development of the semiconductor chip sector, the manufacture of electric vehicles and a clean energy zone in the Mexican state of Sonora, which borders on Arizona, where the state-run lithium company is located, that mineral element having been nationalized by Mexico last April.

The president mentioned that “in addition, the immigration issue was touched on, the interest to continue working together, to safeguard the human rights of migrants.”

In addition, he asked Blinken “not to use the immigration (issue) for electoral purposes,” with an eye toward the US mid-term elections on Nov. 8.

“Thus, in an open manner, as we like and as it should be, we told him that it would not be us who would remain silent if migrants are mistreated and even less so if Mexicans are mistreated,” AMLO said.

The Mexican leader insisted on cooperation among the governments of Central America so that “there is support so that people don’t feel obligated to emigrate.”

EFE ppc/lll/bp

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