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Big Oil Cheers Trump’s ‘New NAFTA’ But Mexico Could Complicate Things

Big Oil Cheers Trump’s ‘New NAFTA’ But Mexico Could Complicate Things

While the oil and gas industry has lauded the new trade deal that may soon replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a provision added by Mexico, along with its new president’s plan to ban fracking, could complicate the industry’s rising ambitions there.

The new agreement, known as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), has faced criticism as being tantamount to NAFTA 2.0 — more of a minor reboot that primarily benefits Wall Street investors and large corporations, including oil and gas companies.

Mercilessly critiqued by then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, NAFTA is now the second major trade deal kicked to the curb by now-President Trump. The other, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was canceled days intoTrump’s presidency.

After the most recent deal’s announcement, the oil and gas industry offered praise for USMCA. The White House even pointed this out in a press release, highlighting a quote given by the U.S. industry’s major trade group, the American Petroleum Institute (API).

“We urge Congress to approve the USMCA. Having Canada as a trading partner and a party to this agreement is critical for North American energy security and U.S. consumers,” said Mike Sommers, President and CEO of API. “Retaining a trade agreement for North America will help ensure the U.S. energy revolution continues into the future.”

In its own press release declaring its support for USMCA, API further spelled out the parts of the deal it supports.

Those include “continued market access for U.S. natural gas and oil products, and investments in Canada and Mexico; continued zero tariffs on natural gas and oil products; investment protections to which all countries commit and the eligibility for Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) for U.S. natural gas and oil companies investing in Mexico…

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