ICYMI: USMCA enforcement will work for U.S. businesses

September 13, 2021

This week, the Biden-Harris Administration is engaging in the first U.S.- Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) since 2016. As part of that meeting, industry groups are hoping that the improved bilateral relationship, and the enforcement mechanisms built into the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will solve the latest trade issue between the United States and Mexico.

In a letter dated May 5, 2021, the American Petroleum Institution (API) called for the Biden administration to engage in diplomatic negotiations to push Mexico to uphold its USMCA commitments “to treat U.S. investors and U.S. exporters fairly.” At this week’s HLED, the industry hopes this issue will again be brought to the table.

API is not alone in its concerns; other industry groups have previously weighed in on Mexico’s energy policies and asked for the USMCA to be used to address their concerns (see a letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce earlier this year).

Issues like this are exactly why the USMCA was negotiated, and why it included strong enforcement mechanisms and ways to address concerns about anticompetitive policies implemented by our neighbors.

It’s clear even from the fact that this is the first HLED to be held in five years that the USMCA has made a significant, positive impact on the trade relationships we have with our neighbors, especially Mexico. The groundwork laid by the USMCA has set numerous rounds of meetings over the past year, improving our relationship and making it easier to negotiate with our partners to ensure U.S. industry can fairly compete in Mexico.

Mexico must uphold its commitments under the USMCA and the Biden Administration should use the USMCA to ensure the U.S. energy industry can compete.