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Rep. Carl: Fighting Mexico’s illegal seizure of Alabama’s Vulcan Materials

Two years ago, the Mexican government launched an illegal invasion and takeover of Alabama-based Vulcan Materials Co.’s deep-water port in Mexico.

In May 2022, Mexico President López Obrador used militarized forces to take over the privately owned area near the popular vacation spot, Playa del Carmen. Since the seizure, the Mexican government has attempted to force Vulcan into selling their 6,000-acre property for about $385 million, despite its worth of nearly $2 billion.

Vulcan, a Birmingham-based company, began their operations in Mexico in the 1980s, consistently adhering to Mexico’s laws. Vulcan has contributed in a tremendous way economically, by providing a multitude of jobs in the area.

Additionally, the company plays a critical role in creating materials for infrastructure projects in the United States, and any hinderance of their production has a potentially devastating impact on development. Since this illegal activity, our North American economic relationship and free trade agreements have been negatively impacted.

Despite its lawful presence in the region, Vulcan continues to receive threats and harassment from Mexico and President López Obrador. Seizing Vulcan’s property does nothing but harm relations between the United States and Mexico. President López Obrador’s actions have proven Mexico cannot be trusted.

The rule of law has been completely broken, and my colleagues and I are doing all we can to support our American-owned companies operating abroad, while ensuring Mexico understands we will not tolerate their lawlessness. Our free trade agreements and foreign relations are obstructed, leaving us with no choice but repercussions. 

There is no time to damage our economic relations when we should be focused on increasing our capabilities to stop relying on China for supply lines. There will be consequences for Mexico’s illegal activity, and they will not benefit from this seizure. I urge President Biden to take immediate action, holding Mexico accountable for undermining the rule of law and hindering such an important economic partnership in North America. I am continuously working with my fellow members of the Alabama delegation in both the House of Representatives and Senate to send a clear message to Mexico of the consequences associated with their actions. I, along with other Congress members, have sent Mexico Secretary of Foreign Relations, Alicia Bárcena, a letter demanding lawful remediation of the Mexico’s actions against Vulcan.

Make no mistake, Mexico will not benefit from this, and we will always defend American companies and American citizens around the world.

Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.

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