USA turned the controversy over automotive rules of origin on a political issue instead of a technical one, he said this Thursday Tatiana Clouthier, Secretary of Economy.
The secretary pointed out during her appearance in San Lázaro that the Mexican authorities tried to dialogue with their counterparts in the United States to resolve the disagreement on rules of origin. However, they responded that they do not have “political space” to change their position.
“Part of what they told us, which was part of the saddest thing we could have heard, was that they didn’t have political space. They never talked to us about technical issues, ”Clouthier told legislators.
In August, Mexico requested a consultation within the framework of the T-MEC to discuss the differences that both your Government and Canada have with the interpretation that the US trade authorities make of the regional value content (VCR) calculations for automotive exports. The US position calls for a stricter calculation, while the Mexicans and Canadians give a more flexible reading of the letter of the treaty.
The Minister of Economy pointed out that the consultation was a failure, so it will be necessary to initiate a dispute resolution panel.
“In her [la consulta] it was not satisfactory. The US continued mounted on the interpretation they have regarding not accepting what was negotiated, and at this moment we are about to move on to the next stage, which is the panel“, said.
There is still no official date for the panel to begin. Both Mexico and Canada will determine when is the right time to activate it.
“We are working hand in hand with the sectors, we are working hand in hand with Canada to be able to see when is the precise moment to start the panel. We are within our own times, and we are going to defend the interests of our nation ”, declared Clouthier.
A dispute resolution panel is a long and costly process for the parties involved. Experts previously consulted by this newspaper consider that the US will stick to its position, so the discussion could last until the end of 2022.