Published On: Sun, Jul 2nd, 2017

U.S. energy secretary promotes pact with Mexico and Canada amid NAFTA changes

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The U.S. has a unique opportunity to develop a “North American energy strategy” with Canada and Mexico, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said, striking a conciliatory tone with the other members of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Bloomberg News reported that while President Donald Trump has blasted Nafta and moved to renegotiate it, Perry referred to the upcoming talks to rework the 1994 trade pact as a “massage” of it, saying it presents an opportunity to bolster energy ties, not enact new trade barriers.

“That relationship I don’t think has ever been more important than it is today, particularly from an energy perspective,” Perry told reporters at the White House last week, while stressing his close ties with his counterparts in Ottawa and Mexico City. “Energy is going to play a very important role.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (center). PHOTO:

His comments came at the outset of so-called “Energy Week” from the White House, as Trump highlights his efforts to reduce regulations on energy producers and jump-start energy exports. Perry’s comments are nonetheless the latest signal Trump’s cabinet is warming to trade ties with Canada and Mexico — whether it’s lauding Nafta and its impact on farmers or saying any revisions of the pact will be good for the U.S. neighbors, as well.

“Energy is an ideal area for the Trump administration to move forward with the relationship,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, said in a telephone interview.

Trump has long advocated for American energy dominance, Wood said: “But everybody knows that for the United States to do that on its own is a pipe dream in the short term at least — but for North America working together, it becomes feasible.”

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Source: Bloomberg News

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