Mexico could sow closer business ties with Canada after Justin Trudeau’s visit  

By January 13, 2023

Mexico City, Mexico — Following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed to appease Canadian investors in Mexico and strengthen commercial ties between the countries. 

López Obrador and Trudeau held a meeting at the National Palace the day after the trilateral summit with United States President Joe Biden on January 10.  

During the talk, López Obrador reportedly promised to ease tensions between his government and Canadian companies after months of friction. 

“I made a commitment to Prime Minister Trudeau to receive companies that may have outstanding issues, any disagreement with our government’s attitude; we are always open to dialogue,” said López Obrador.

The commercial quarrel dates back to July 2022, when the Canadian and U.S. governments challenged López Obrador’s recent energy policies for allegedly violating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Under the USMCA, both the U.S. and Canada issued an energy consultation, denouncing that López Obrador’s recent energy reforms have favored state-owned energy companies, such as Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), casting aside Canadian and American companies, breaching the trade agreement. 

“Canada has consistently raised its concerns regarding Mexico’s change in energy policy,” said Mary Ng, the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development on July 21, 2022.

While talks began to take place, ultimately, the three governments decided to extend the negotiations past the initial 75-day period. 

At a press conference on January 12, López Obrador said talks between the Mexican government and the Canadian private sector might start as soon as next week. 

Reportedly, the president is scheduled to hold a meeting with a Canadian electric company that has produced energy to sell to other companies, a practice López Obrador has outlawed with his energy reform. 

Additionally, two mining companies have requested a meeting with the federal government, although the president did not go into details. 

The president celebrated the growth in Canadian investments in recent years, specifically the construction of a gas pipeline by the Canadian company TC Energy, which he described as the “most important Canadian investment in Mexico.”

“Prime Minister Trudeau is very satisfied because Canadian investors have Mexico as a location, as a preferred country for their investments, which have grown more than ever in the last four years; last year, it was around three and a half billion dollars, and will continue to grow,” he said.