Perry makes case for teaming with Canada, Mexico
Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday that U.S. officials and their counterparts in Canada and Mexico must collaborate to speed the development of the continent’s vast energy resources and remove regulatory roadblocks to crossborder energy infrastructure projects.
The former Texas governor also urged mutual cooperation between the
three countries on enhancing the physical safety and cybersecurity of the energy systems that stretch across the nation’s borders.
“Canada and Mexico are the largest energy trading partners of the
United States,” Perry said, speaking alongside Canada’s minister of natural resources, Jim Carr, and Mexico’s energy secretary, P. Joaquin Coldwell, at a news conference at the University of Houston. “And the energy security of our three countries is achievable because of mutual cooperation.”
Carr echoed Perry’s comments, saying greater cooperation that benefits the three nations should come ahead of partisan politics, referring to the ideological gulf between the Trump administration and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But the talk of international collaboration comes against the backdrop of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a thorny process that the Trump administration began this summer. When asked whether renegotiating NAFTA would affect energy trade between the three countries, Perry said the renegotiation was a “good process; it’s a healthy process.”
“Fifteen years ago, they told us we found all the oil and gas there was to find and that the days of being able to develop oil and gas were over with,” Perry said. “Well, that’s not the case. So does it make sense to sit down with our colleagues in Canada and Mexico to renegotiate a new North America Free Trade Agreement? Yes, I think it does.”
Perry called speculation that the United States, Canada and Mexico would not be able to agree on terms for a new cross-border trade deal “far-fetched.”
“Our friends in Mexico and Canada are pretty good negotiators,” he said. “We not only will have a good agreement, it’ll be a fair agreement, and the private sector can know there will be contract in hand so when they come to invest in Mexico or Canada or the United States, there will be a good framework in place in which they can do business.”
Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr of Canada, left, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of Energy P. Joaquin Coldwell of Mexico answer questions Tuesday in Houston.