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Trudeau Sees Progress With AMLO in Mexican Energy Dispute

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(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s optimistic that Canadian companies with complaints about Mexico’s nationalist energy policies can get their issues resolved through meetings with the Mexican government.

Trudeau met with Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday morning in Mexico City and said the two leaders had “very direct conversations” about the energy dispute. The Mexican president pledged to “work very closely with us to ensure that we’re able to move forward in a way that is beneficial, obviously, for Mexico, but also for the planet and for Canadian investors,” Trudeau said. 

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At its core, the dispute is over Mexico’s moves to prioritize its state utility over private energy companies. The US has also lodged complaints, saying the policies violate the continental free trade agreement.

AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, told reporters earlier that he promised Trudeau he would meet with Canadian firms that have complaints against his government. It’s natural to see some problems arise during a boom in Canadian investment in Mexico, he added. 

The meeting of the two leaders came the day after a trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden.

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng said she also raised the energy issue with Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro. “I made it very clear that Canadian investors in the energy sector need the predictability of the rules that are here to ensure that their investment for how we build renewable energy is protected,” Ng said. “We had a very productive discussion.”

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