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Mexican president laughs off U.S., Canada request for trade dispute talks

The United States and Canada are requesting dispute settlement talks with Mexico over what they say are discriminatory energy policies. Under the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement — or USMCA — it could result in tariffs if the issue isn’t resolved.

The U.S. and Canada say Mexico’s energy policies are in conflict with its trade agreement obligations.

Since 2018, Mexico has worked to fortify its state-owned energy and oil companies.

The Biden administration says that has made it difficult for U.S. companies to operate in Mexico, and hinders the fight against climate change.

But Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador downplayed the request for talks. At a press conference he said there is nothing wrong with Mexico’s energy policies and played a song that seemed to mockingly suggest he’s not worried. The lyrics translate to, “Oh how scary, look how I’m shaking.”

If the nations don’t reach an agreement, however, the U.S. could be granted permission to impose tariffs on Mexican products.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.