Nearshore Americas
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AMLO’s Mining Policy Puts Mexico on a Collision Course with Canada

Canada is once again concerned about Mexico’s energy and mining policies, as pressure mounts on Ottawa to rescue home-grown companies caught in tax disputes in Latin America’s second-biggest economy.

In a statement issued on July 7, Mary Ng, Canada’s Trade Minister, reiterated that it is important to “create opportunities for businesses” from both countries to grow, indirectly referring to the imposition of heavy taxes on foreign mining companies in Mexico.

Mary Ng, who met her Mexican counterpart in Vancouver, said Canada was working with Mexico to maintain “predictable” trade (policies), referring to President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (AMLO) continuous intervention in the sector.

The minister has gone to the extent of saying that AMLO’s energy and mining policies were harming the investment climate.

In the past few years, AMLO has canceled several licenses in addition to slapping hefty taxes on mining companies.

The firms are refusing to leave, threatening instead to sue the country in international courts. Some companies argue that AMLO’s policies violate the recently implemented US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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However, Lopez Obrador has shown little sympathy for foreign mining firms. Last year, he told Canadian mining companies to be honest in their tax filings.

According to a Reuters report, Canadian mining firm First Majestic Silver Corp was told by the Mexican government to pay US$534 million in delinquent taxes. The company is refusing to pay up, saying it would pursue all legal options, including filing a lawsuit with international courts.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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