President López Obrador revealed that the Canadian government said it was willing to cooperate with Mexico to solve problems with mining companies despite the differences between the parties. López Obrador said that there is room for solutions with three mining companies that have found an issue with the administration and struggle with security.
The president said he talked with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about issues concerning tree mining companies during the North American Leaders' Summit. The Mexican government alleges that one Canadian company refuses to pay its taxes, while two others are extorted by criminal organizations in Guerrero.
López Obrador did not give details about the affected companies and merely said that the issue is being addressed. However, he expressed relief at the issue, saying that of the 125 Canadian mining companies in Mexico, there are only two cases involving extortion.
He also said that he complained to Prime Minister Trudeau about the San Javier Mining company, a subsidiary of New Gold accused of damaging the San Pedro Hill in San Luis Potosi. “I made the commitment to receive these companies and we want to reach a solution,” López Obrador added.
López Obrador said that regarding the energy sector, he also managed to forge an agreement with the Canadian government, which asked for USMCA consultations following Mexico’s attempt to modify the Electricity Industry Law to the detriment of private companies. The Mexican government also expressed its willingness to cooperate with Canadian energy players.
In an interview with El Economista, Mario Yáñez, Partner, Hogan Lovells Mexico, said that there are over 20 mining companies that will begin negotiations with the government since they disagree with their tax burden. According to these companies, the government imposes high taxes while arguing that mining pollutes the country. “The parties have already started analyzing agendas to coordinate meetings because there have been changes in the directives of the Ministry of Economy (SE),” Yáñez said.
Yáñez continued that companies will meet with officers from the Tax Authority (SAT) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office for North America. “I think that it would be easier to solve the issues with the mining sector since the path to do so is already clear. The only thing to do is to reduce their tax burden,” Yáñez added.