Mexico takes firm stance on auto dispute ahead of US talks
MEXICO CITY – Mexico expects the United States to abide by auto rules in the New North American Trade Pact, a senior official said, taking a firm stance ahead of high-level talks of next week overshadowed by a dispute over the future of the auto industry in the region.
Mexico and Canada have been at odds with the United States for months over enforcing regional content requirements for the auto industry, one of the cornerstones of the United States-Mexico trade deal. -Canada (USMCA) from last year.
The two countries favor a more flexible interpretation of the rules than that adopted by American officials.
When asked Thursday evening if a new methodology could be used to avoid taking the case to an international tribunal, Deputy Economy Minister Luz Maria de la Mora told Reuters:
“No, because we’re not renegotiating (USMCA). It’s about honoring what was agreed upon in the treaty.”
“The text of the agreement made it very clear how much flexibility there was in the agreement,” she added, noting that the differences between the United States and Mexico on the issue had started as the The Trump administration was still in power.
Under the USMCA, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1994, automakers must meet a 75% North American content threshold for vehicles in order to qualify for the duty-free trade in the region.
With NAFTA, which former US President Donald Trump called a “disaster” for US industry, the content threshold stood at 62.5%.