Mexican protest over regulations should not derail energy reform

March 18, 2014

shutterstock_105329711FuelFix, 3/17/14

An opposition party protest in Mexico over proposed energy reform laws is not likely to significantly delay the opening of the nation’s oil and gas reserves to foreign companies, a legal expert said Monday. On Thursday, the Senate leader of the National Action Party, or PAN, walked out of congressional negotiations on laws necessary to implement the reform legislation passed in December. The politician protested the amount of authority the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has proposed to retain, according to Gabriel Salinas, an attorney at Mayer Brown focused on the Mexican oil and gas sector, who is closely following the progress of the reforms.

The PAN has since issued a list of concerns about the congressional negotiations over the  rules that will govern the opening of Mexico’s energy sector to private investment. Under the new constitutional amendments, Mexican lawmakers were given an April 20 deadline to develop more specific legal guidelines for how the energy reforms would be implemented, including how oil profits would be handled.

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What Does Mexico’s Oil Industry Reform Mean For Investors?

December 16, 2013

Forbes, 12/16/2013

Ancient Mayan pyramid, KukulcanLast week Mexico’s Congress approved a bill to end a seven-decade long state oil monopoly. In coming years foreign companies could invest as much as $20 billion a year in Mexico’s oil sector, thanks to new rules that will allow production sharing.

Although the energy reform bill, spearheaded by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto during his first year in office, has been vociferously opposed by Mexico’s left, the bill has the backing of Peña’s centrist PRI party as well as the right-of-center party of former President Felipe Calderon. Together the PRI and the PAN had enough votes to push the bill through Congress, where it was approved 353-134.

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Country of the Year? Try Mexico

December 16, 2013

Christian Science Monitor, 12/15/2013

Mexican Flag XXLLast week’s approval of reforms for the pivotal oil company Pemex caps a year of major reforms that could transform Mexico – and perhaps change the immigration debate in the US.

If an award could be given in 2013 for Country of the Year, Mexico might deserve it. No other country has done more this past year to put reforms in place to transform a nation – and with startling democratic consensus. The latest reform, approved Thursday by elected lawmakers, will allow foreign and private investment in the oil sector for the first time in more than 70 years. The move upends a notion of Mexican patriotism that stated the national identity rests on government monopoly of the petroleum industry.

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Enrique Peña Nieto yet to deliver reforms for Mexico

December 6, 2013

Financial Times, 12/5/2013

Enrique Pena NietoIt has been 20 years since Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, 13 years since the end of one-party presidential rule, and one year since Enrique Peña Nieto began his presidency promising to modernise the country. The first two were decisive moments for Latin America’s second-biggest economy. They also proved to be false dawns.

Shortly after Nafta came into effect, Mexico suffered the crushing devaluation of the peso – the Tequila crisis – dashing hopes of imminent prosperity. As for democracy, fewer Mexicans today believe it is the best form of government than in 2000. Will the “Mexican moment” of Mr Peña Nieto’s government prove a similar disappointment?

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Mexico Contemplates Changing Term-Limit Rule (audio)

December 6, 2013

NPR, 12/6/2013

MEXICO CONGRESSLawmakers in Mexico are considering a major change to their elections. For more than a century, the country has had the ultimate term limits: nobody can be re-elected.

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Op Ed: Mexico’s critical, fragile compromises

November 15, 2013

The Globe and Mail, 11/15/2013

MEXICO CONGRESSJust about everything except the mouths of politicians seems to the paralyzed in the U.S. political system, especially Congress. Getting one big thing done seems next to impossible.

In Canada, the government can get things through the Commons and Senate, courtesy of its majority in both houses. But negotiate with the opposition parties? Are you crazy?

In Mexico, by contrast, something remarkable and controversial is unfolding. In less than a year, President Enrique Pena Nieto and his party are negotiating with both other parties in Congress on an array of reforms that would leave the legislatures of Canada and the United States breathless.

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Mexico Parties Said to Seek Oil License Contracts in Bill

November 6, 2013

Bloomberg, 11/5/2013

Oil barrelsMexico’s two largest parties reached a preliminary accord that would give companies more control in new oil field contracts than the government is proposing, said three people with direct knowledge of the agreement.

The ruling PRI and opposition PAN parties will support a new measure to allow the state to decide the type of contracts to be offered for each project, including service contracts, profit and production sharing and licenses, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as talks are private. Like the concession model proposed by PAN, licenses would grant broader operational control of projects than the govenment’s initial profit-sharing model and allow companies to manage oil directly.

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Mexico energy reform doubt grows on disappointing fiscal package

November 5, 2013

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesBusiness Insight in Latin America, 11/04/2013

Senators from Mexico’s right-wing PAN party appear to be dropping their support of energy reform being pushed in congress by the ruling PRI party.

PAN party members have reacted strongly to the senate’s passage of fiscal reform, which they claim will punish Mexico’s middle class and businesses.

Many members of the rightist party have now revoked their support for president Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform proposal, which has the potential to open the historically insulated oil and gas and electric power sectors.

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Mexican leftist leader urges PAN, PRD senators to vote against energy reforms

October 29, 2013

andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct052Global Post, 10/28/2013

Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged senators from Mexico’s largest opposition parties at a rally over the weekend to form a coalition to vote against the energy and tax reforms proposed by the Peña Nieto administration.

Senators from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, should vote “with absolute independence, as true representatives of the people,” against the reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto, Lopez Obrador said in a address delivered to thousands of his supporters in Mexico City’s Zocalo plaza on Sunday.

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Mexico ruling party ready to back higher junk food tax: lawmaker

October 24, 2013

PENA NIETO-OSCAR NARANJOReuters, 10/23.201/

Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is ready to support an opposition proposal to increase a planned tax on junk food included in the government’s fiscal reform, the PRI’s leader in the Senate said on Wednesday.

Last week, the lower house of Congress approved President Enrique Pena Nieto’s fiscal reform, at the last minute adding a measure to impose a 5 percent tax on junk food. The Senate must approve the reform by the end of the month.

This week Armando Rios Piter, a Senate finance expert from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), proposed increasing the tax rate on junk food to 8 percent.

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