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Shelby, Tuberville join letter urging Biden to take action against aggression from Mexican government toward Alabama-based company

Earlier this month, the Mexican government shut down operations of the Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials Company in Mexico, citing environmental concerns.

Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) joined eight of their Senate colleagues in a letter demanding President Joe Biden take action on this issue.

The senators argue that this action by the Mexican President hurts the economic relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor.

“For over two centuries,” the letter says, “the United States and Mexico have developed deep cultural, economic, and diplomatic relations that have been instrumental in creating prosperity in North America. A central component of this relationship is the economic integration that encourages American investment in and trade with Mexico…However, recent actions by President López Obrador and officials in his government threaten to undermine the confidence of U.S. businesses in Mexico as a viable, predictable marketplace and destination for investment.”

In the letter, they assert it is unlawful for the Mexican government to shut down the company.

“For over thirty years,” the letter continues, “Vulcan Materials Company has operated a limestone quarry on three contiguous parcels of land in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This facility has brought investment and well-paying jobs to the region. However, under the leadership of President López Obrador, the Mexican government has taken numerous arbitrary and punitive actions against Vulcan, illustrating increasingly protectionist and anti-competitive policies that disregard the rule of law.”

The senators say the continued shutdown will not only harm the Birmingham-based company but also do damage to the U.S. economy as a whole.

“A continued shutdown of Vulcan’s operations in Mexico will have a direct and negative impact on the United States,” the letter argues, “as Vulcan’s Mexico facility is a critical component of the construction aggregates supply chain for the southeast United States. This facility provides construction aggregates for infrastructure projects in coastal markets that do not have the geology necessary to produce quality construction aggregates locally.”

The letter highlights how this is not the first time the Mexican government acted in this unlawful way against an American company.

“Further,” the letter continues, “Vulcan Materials Company is not the only American entity to experience harassment from the Mexican government and raise concerns over President López Obrador’s anti-business rhetoric. There have been a number of stunning cases, particularly in the energy and power sectors, where multiple U.S.-owned facilities have been forced to close.”

According to the senators, members from both sides of the aisle are alarmed by these actions by the Mexican government.

“Both Republican and Democratic Members of Congress have raised concerns,” says the letter, “to your Administration regarding President López Obrador’s departures from the economic and legal norms that govern U.S.-Mexican relations and his assault against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USCMA). If these violations are allowed to continue, they will undermine crucial, mutually beneficial economic cooperation between our nations and encourage businesses to seek more predictable and suitable markets elsewhere.”

The letter then ends by imploring Biden to take action.

“Therefore, we respectfully request that you take immediate action with respect to the Government of Mexico to reverse the harmful measures it has already taken and to prevent further damage to the economic relationship between the United States and Mexico,” the Senators conclude.

Earlier this month, Tuberville gave a speech on the floor of the Senate expressing “shock” that the Mexican government shut down the Alabama company.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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