WASHINGTON, DC. (WBRC) - U.S. Senator Katie Britt released a statement Monday afternoon regarding the Mexican military’s withdrawal from
Vulcan Materials Company’s Punta Venado port facility in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Senator Britt’s statement is as follows:
“I am happy to hear that Mexican governmental forces have now heeded our request to withdraw from Vulcan’s port facility, following a nearly two-week unlawful takeover,” said U.S. Senator Katie Britt. “There was never a legitimate reason for Mexican military and law enforcement personnel to forcibly occupy this Alabama company’s private property. I personally reiterated my objections to this unacceptable behavior to Ambassador Moctezuma today at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and asked him to convey to President López Obrador that aggression towards American interests will not be tolerated.”
On Monday, Senator Britt joined members of Alabama’s congressional delegation in meeting at the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C., with Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma.
ORIGINAL STORY: U.S. Senator Katie Britt released a statement Monday in response to the Mexican government seizure of Vulcan Materials Company’s port facility at Punta Venado in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Video surveillance footage from the early morning hours of March 14 shows the facility being breached and confiscated at gunpoint by Mexican military and police forces. A Mexican federal district court on March 16 ordered governmental forces to vacate the premises within 24 hours, however the property remains under military occupation as of 6:30 p.m. CT March 19.
Senator Britt provided the following statement:
“This forcible seizure of private property is unlawful and unacceptable. It is shameful that this Mexican presidential administration would rather confiscate American assets than the fentanyl killing hundreds of Americans per day,” said Senator Katie Britt. “Mexico should be more focused on going after the cartels than law-abiding businesses and hardworking people. President Biden must raise this directly with President López Obrador and assure the American people that this will not be tolerated. The ramifications of this illicit seizure extend into the United States, significantly hamstringing important American infrastructure, energy, and other construction projects that currently rely on Vulcan’s operations in Mexico for materials. My office and I will continue to monitor this situation and ensure this is not swept under the rug.”
Senator Katie Britt (WBRC FOX6 News)
Senator Britt traveled to Mexico City earlier this year to discuss the issue of increasing, illegal aggression by the Mexican government toward Vulcan Materials with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard. Senator Britt has also discussed the matter with senior U.S. Embassy personnel in Mexico City.
A representative with Vulcan Materials released the following statement to
Vulcan has been engaged in a NAFTA arbitration with Mexico since late 2018 regarding our investments in Mexico, including the Sac Tun (Calica) quarry near Playa del Carmen, and therefore we are limited in our ability to comment on this situation. Our first and foremost concern is the health and safety of our employees. We have confirmed that our Vulcan family members are physically unharmed and are focused on ensuring that this remains the case. We are highly concerned for our property and our business in Mexico. We have been unable to quarry and ship construction aggregate since the Mexican government illegally shut down our operations last year. We are shocked in CEMEX and in the Mexican government entities that supported this reckless and reprehensible armed seizure of our private property.
Vulcan Materials is headquartered in Birmingham.
National Security Council spokesperson released the following statement to WBRC:
We are aware of the reports and are always concerned about the fair treatment of our companies in Mexico. We speak regularly with Mexican officials about our expectation that U.S. companies be treated fairly and in accordance with all trade obligations. We also note that failure to do so has the potential to impact our ability to achieve our shared vision for improving livelihoods in one of Mexico’s most economically disadvantaged regions and Mexico’s ability to attract future investments.
Additionally, Senator Tommy Tuberville released the following statement about the situation:
“For more than 30 years, Vulcan Materials Company has operated a limestone quarry in Mexico that has created good jobs both in Mexico and in Alabama. Yet time and again, President López Obrador and the Mexican government have undermined Vulcan’s ability to operate in Mexico. Last year, I urged President Biden to confront President López Obrador about the Mexican government’s aggression toward Vulcan Materials. As usual, President Biden buried his head in the sand. President Biden’s failure of leadership has only emboldened Mexico to continue taking hostile action against Vulcan that puts employees at risk and jeopardizes our supply chains in the southeast region of the United States. The illegal seizure of Vulcan’s port facility is just the latest example of the Mexican government exploiting President Biden’s weakness, and the situation will only get worse until the President addresses it head on.”
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