Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. State Department investigates Mexico’s energy protectionism

The State Department contacted U.S. energy companies ahead of this week’s North American summit to ask them how Mexico’s protectionist policies have impacted their business operations there, according to a document seen by Reuters. The State Department sent an email to U.S. energy companies last week asking them how many permits and applications they had applied for in Mexico over the past three years, identify which ones were denied, and list any projects shelved due to the “permitting challenges.” (https://neuters.de/business/energy/state-dept-asked-us-energy-firms-about-mexico-protectionism-prior-summit-2023-01-11/) U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador failed to resolve a running energy dispute during two days of talks that ended on Tuesday. The query shows the Biden administration was looking to arm itself with details it could use in talks with Mexico as it seeks to demonstrate the country is flouting a regional trade agreement and potentially stunting its own economic growth in the process. Officials at the State Department and the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. oil industry’s main trade group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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