April 24, 2015


Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Michael McCaul (TX-10) today sent a letter urging President Barack Obama to lift the prohibition on U.S. crude oil exports to Mexico. Doing so would afford Mexico the same trade exemption granted to Canada thirty years ago. 

“Mexico is Texas’ largest trade partner, and the country’s recent energy reforms open the door for our economic ties to expand even further,” said Rep. Castro. “Lifting these crude oil export restrictions will benefit Texas businesses and workers, boost the U.S. economy, and help North America reach its energy potential.”

“Last year, during the first ever trilateral meeting of lawmakers from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, I heard from both my Mexican and Canadian counterparts about the need to tear down trade barriers and improve the flow of energy across the continent,” said Rep. McCaul. “Trading crude oil freely with Mexico in the same manner that the U.S. trades with Canada is not only fair, but it will make the distribution of energy in North American more efficient. Improving energy trade ties will also benefit Texas producers by opening up a new market that is hungry for U.S. crude oil.”

The President has the authority to exempt Mexico from U.S. crude oil export restrictions under Section 103 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. In 1985, President Regan used this authority to make a presidential finding that declared crude oil exports to Canada in the national interest. 

Text of the letter is included below. 


President Barack Obama 
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to use your authority under Section 103 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to exempt Mexico from U.S. crude oil export restrictions.  Lifting the prohibition on crude oil exports to Mexico is consistent with the U.S. national interest and would extend equal treatment to Mexico which the U.S. currently affords Canada.      

As you know, Mexico has recently enacted historic reforms to its energy sector, which will foster new opportunities for American energy companies to partner with Mexico to boost its domestic energy production.  The U.S. and Mexico are increasingly working together to maximize North America’s growing energy potential.  In that spirit, we applaud your administration for signing the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement in 2012, which established a framework for the development of oil and gas reservoirs that cross the international maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.  Liberalizing energy trade between our two countries would further deepen our bilateral economic ties and make the flow of energy across our border more efficient.

Recent press reports have indicated that PEMEX, Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, has proposed to “swap” Mexican heavy crude oil for American light sweet crude oil.  We support such a transaction; however, we encourage you to make a presidential finding that would ease all export restrictions of U.S. crude oil to Mexico.  On June 14, 1985, President Reagan made a presidential finding which declared that exports of crude oil to Canada is in the U.S. national interest.  Given the recent reforms in Mexico and the changing crude oil market conditions in the U.S., we believe that placing Mexico on equal footing with Canada would advance U.S. interests and would make a powerful statement that the U.S. is committed to working with our neighbors to make North America an energy superpower.   

Thank you for your consideration of this request and your continued commitment to the important relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.  We look forward to your response.


Michael McCaul
Member of Congress

Joaquin Castro
Member of Congress

Henry Cuellar
Member of Congress

Sean Duffy
Member of Congress

Jeff Duncan
Member of Congress