U.S. Efforts to Remove Mexico's Gas Tariff Shelved
Given the level of opposition south of the border, the
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) said its
plans to forego for the next couple of years its efforts to
persuade Mexico to lift its tariff on natural gas.
"We're not going to push for repeal of the tariff now. But
perhaps in the next few years the Mexican government would be
interested in revisiting the issue," a spokeswoman for the pipeline
group noted. "It seems futile to raise it now," she said.
INGAA decided to temporarily shelve the issue after natural gas
was pulled from the "illustrative list of agreed tariff reductions"
in May following a NAFTA Ministerial meeting with Canada and
Mexico. This action was taken when the United States could not
agree to the terms under which Mexico said it would remove the
tariff on gas.
The Mexican government proposed eliminating the gas tariff in
three stages, ending in October 1999, if the United States would
remove immediately its tariffs on an unrelated product, purified
terephthalic acid (PTA). But the proposal was strongly opposed by
PTA producers in this country, and as a result failed.
Pipeline companies are seeking to lift the tariff on gas because
they claim it puts U.S. pipelines that transport natural gas to the
United States-Mexican border at a distinct disadvantage with
Mexican natural gas providers.
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