Mexico hopes deal possible in U.S. trade dispute before panel -minister

By Thomson Reuters Aug 24, 2022 | 5:25 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico hopes it can resolve a trade dispute with the United States before the matter reaches an arbitration panel, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday.

Speaking as officials hold talks over a U.S.-led complaint against Mexico’s plans to strengthen state control of energy at the expense of private firms, Ebrard said his basic scenario was that a deal would be reached and that “we don’t have a panel.”

“It’s better for both countries to reach agreement before getting to a panel,” he told a group of business leaders, noting that Mexico also had complaints about certain U.S. policies.

Ebrard was emphatic his government would not propose leaving the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement or put it at risk, even if the dispute did go to a panel.

The United States on July 20 unveiled its demand for dispute settlement talks, arguing Mexico’s energy policies discriminated against its companies. Canada quickly joined the U.S. complaint.

Under USMCA rules, if the complaint is not resolved within 75 days, a dispute panel can be requested to review claims.

(Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Sandra Maler)