MEXICO CITY, April 29 Mexico's lower house of
Congress voted to approve an economic competition bill on
Tuesday, helping clear the path for other pending legislation,
including a package of energy laws aimed at implementing a
sector overhaul passed late last year.
The competition bill, which would empower a newly autonomous
antitrust regulator, was one of several pieces of legislation
awaiting approval, as the regular congressional session is set
to adjourn on Wednesday.
The Senate approved the competition bill last week, which
now goes to Institutional Revolutionary Party President Enrique
Pena Nieto for his signature.
Lawmakers face a legislative logjam that includes a pending
electoral reform, as well as so-called secondary laws designed
to implement constitutional reforms passed last year to overhaul
the telecommunications and energy sectors.
The opposition conservative National Action Party, which the
ruling party has relied on to back energy reform, demands that
Congress first approve an electoral reform before supporting
laws that hash out the fine print of the energy overhaul.
The secondary laws that will implement the energy reform,
including tax and commercial terms for new contracts, are
expected to be delayed until a special congressional session
held next month.
Once the secondary laws are set, state-owned oil company
Pemex is expected to seek out joint venture partners
in a bid to boost crude output, which has slid by a quarter over
the past nine years.
(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by David Gregorio)