Vulcan Materials Co. rejected an offer by the Mexican government to purchase its Caribbean coast assets for $2 billion, the nation’s president said, adding that the state hasn’t expropriated the property.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador added that the plant is merely “closed” and pointed that at some point the government had considered turning the zone into a natural protected area, without clarifying if that was still part of the plan.

The plant’s closing has prevented the US construction firm from extracting limestone at the site it has owned for decades, and marks another move against business interests by Lopez Obrador — a staunch nationalist whose six-year term ends in October.  

“We don’t want to bring investment at any cost, even less to destroy our territory,” he said Wednesday at his morning press conference. “Better they don’t come, or they go elsewhere.”

AMLO, as the president is known, added that the company continued extracting materials even after it had been ordered closed.

A Vulcan representative didn’t immediately reply to an emailed comment request. 

Last year, the Alabama-based company sought the Biden administration’s protection from what it saw as the threat of a government takeover of the Mayan Riviera property, saying a purchase offer from Mexico deeply undervalued the assets. AMLO had previously alleged environmental damage and sent the Mexican marines to occupy the land. Vulcan’s chief executive officer defended its environmental record, citing international awards and its reforestation efforts.

Vulcan has been in litigation and arbitration with Mexico since 2018 under the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as Nafta, which was later replaced with the US-Mexico-Canada agreement during the Trump administration. The company previously said that the Lopez Obrador government’s actions are illegal.