“Instead, we should be looking for opportunities to work together to attract investment and unlock the economic opportunity presented by the global rebalancing of supply chains away from Communist China. Let’s seize the opportunity together – rather than damage our shared interests for short-term political gains”
WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today delivered remarks on the Senate floor, seeking to draw attention to the recent aggression by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Administration toward American companies with investments and operations in Mexico. Hagerty urged President López Obrador to change course on his actions that threaten to undermine the confidence of U.S. businesses in Mexico as a viable, predictable marketplace and to instead work with the U.S. to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties and counter Communist China by attracting mutually-beneficial economic investment.
Remarks as Prepared
Thank you, Madam President.
I am here today to discuss worrying developments in Mexico, one of the United States’ most important international partners and our neighbor to the south.
The nearly 2,000-mile border that our nations share, both binds us together, and presents a series of challenges, including illegal migration, drug control, and human trafficking.
As we work through those difficult issues, our robust economic relationship has provided a firm foundation to strengthen and stabilize our efforts with an eye towards the future.
The innovative U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, deepened the connections between our economies such that Mexico is now one of our largest and most strategic trading partners.
However, actions over the past year by the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, better known as AMLO, have weakened that bond and are threatening the economic and diplomatic ties of our two nations.
Through increasingly arbitrary and aggressive moves against companies based here in the United States and their lawfully owned assets in Mexico, the Mexican government has abused its permitting and regulatory powers in ways that violate the letter and the spirit of our trade agreements, and the special relationship between our two countries. These decisions directly impact critical sectors of the U.S. economy, from agriculture to energy and mining, from transportation to tourism.
These capricious actions, which are falsely labeled as “reforms,” risk substantially undermining confidence in the commercial rule-of-law in Mexico and these actions also risk jeopardizing the essential economic relations in North America.
Further, these actions likely violate our trade agreements by abrogating contracts, stripping investors of value, and eliminating private competition and oversight, thereby sending a clear message to U.S. capital markets that Mexico is no longer safe or profitable for investing.
Earlier this month, AMLO even threatened to jail political opponents and investors who stand in his way, desperately attempting to impose a state-centered, anti-free-market agenda.
If not quickly corrected, these actions risk choking off the economic relationship between our two nations.
Many important supply chains stretch across the U.S.-Mexico border, supporting millions of good jobs, and making both countries more attractive for capital investment. This is certainly true for my home state of Tennessee.
Because of that success, I have advocated for further expanding the integrated North American supply chain for critical industries as a better, more stable alternative to manufacturing and exporting from Communist China.
Utilizing the successes of USMCA as the backbone for a renewed vision of North American competitiveness would benefit both American and Mexican prosperity as well as both our nations’ national security.
It would also better align the economic strategies and national interests of our countries.
But without a basic respect for private property and the rule of law, that mutually beneficial progress will not happen. In fact, failing to protect private property and the rule of law will inevitably lead to the disintegration of economic ties.
Therefore, I urge President López Obrador to reverse course before more damage is done.
Instead, we should be looking for opportunities to work together to attract investment and unlock the economic opportunity presented by the global rebalancing of supply chains away from Communist China. Let’s seize the opportunity together – rather than damage our shared interests for short-term political gains.
I yield the floor.