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US Continues to Warn Mexico About Trade Conflicts

By María Fernanda Barría | Thu, 05/06/2021 - 16:15

US government and private sector representatives have expressed concerns over Mexico’s possible violations of the USMCA in industries such as energy, telecommunications and food.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai stated in a Senate hearing of the Trade, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee her commitment to guarantee that all trading partners comply with the treaty agreements. "I expect the Canadian and Mexican counterparts to be very frank and honest with me about how they feel about US implementation, and I will be just as honest with them about concerns that we have in Mexico and Canada," stated Tai, Reuters informs.

As previously reported by MBN, the USTR’s report "Foreign Trade Barriers 2021" suggested that Mexico and the US have a complicated trade relationship. The report highlights the concerns of US energy investors regarding the deteriorating climate the sector faces in Mexico. In addition, several US associations, including the American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), have complained to the USTR that Mexico is increasing barriers to trade. "The US energy sector faces an increasing range of market access barriers that are contrary to Mexico's commitments to the USMCA article (2.3) regarding the protection of investment in Mexico and the export of equipment and energy resources from the US," affirms the associations. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has supported the Electricity Industry Law, which favors state utility company CFE over private companies to allow Mexico to gain national electricity sovereignty, as previously reported by MBN.

Moreover, a group of Mexican film agents has urged the Senate to pass a new cinematographic bill that would reserve 15 percent of the exhibition time and 45 percent of the billboard display for national films to protect the national movie industry, Forbes informs. The initiative was rejected by US private companies. "Mexico's offenses, which range from blocking permits for energy projects to proposing protectionist policies on cinema and delaying approvals of new biotherapeutic and agricultural products, have continued despite the USMCA coming into force in July 2020. These violations put US companies from a wide array of economic sectors at a disadvantage against their Mexican competitors," stated Brian Pomper, Executive Director of the Alliance for Trade Enforcement.

 Tatiana Clouthier, Head of the Ministry of Economy, released a statement indicating that the institute is open to negotiate pathways available to the two countries. "The US has expressed concerns. However, in the commercial practices, it must be considered that there are always details that not all the third parties approve,” said Clouthier, El Milenio informs.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
AFTE, MBN, Forbes, La Razón, El Milenio, Reuters
María Fernanda Barría María Fernanda Barría Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst