Unfinished business: Putting the final touches on the USMCA

The proposed US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) makes important, but incomplete, progress in securing an integrated North American energy market.

In terms of progress, the agreement preserves zero tariffs for trade in oil, gas and petroleum products across North America. It effectively locks in Mexico’s historic energy reforms by ensuring that Mexico cannot reinstate restrictions on US investment in the oil and gas sector. A “ratchet” clause ensures that if Mexico decides to further liberalize the sector, then that higher floor becomes the new USMCA commitment.

While Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are weaker, they remain in force for certain “covered sectors,” including oil and gas investments in Mexico and power generation and pipeline investments where the investor has a contract with the government…


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