The US private sector considers that AMLO is violating 12 chapters of the USMCA.
Washington, (April 02, 2021).- The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador would have violated or tried to violate at least 12 chapters of the new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada (USMCA) in just 8 months, so Mexico must be forced to comply, denounced the American private sector.
In a letter addressed to the new US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, twenty of the largest US private sector associations accused Mexico of multiple violations of chapters of the treaty that came into force in July.
“In the letter, there are many examples that explain in a very detailed way why we believe that Mexico does not comply with its obligations under the USMCA,” said Brian Pomper, the executive director of the Alliance for Trade Compliance (AFTE), who sent the message.
The 6-page letter is signed by groups like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) that represents Hollywood studios like Disney and Sony, to the American Petroleum Institute (API) that represents companies like Exxon, Mobil, Shell, and Bechtel.
In the complaint, the US private sector cites potential violations such as threats by President López Obrador to remove the autonomy of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) and the Federal Competition Commission (COFECE), which would violate Chapter 18 of the USMCA.
“AMLO is making a huge mistake… and if he insists, he will be committing a strategic error if he does not pay attention to this letter. Trust is rented, it is not bought, and confidence and certainty between the Mexican government and the US private initiative are about to be lost. This type of situation does not happen frequently, we are looking at a powerful business group that rarely acts in a coordinated manner,” declared an observer from the bilateral relationship that requested anonymity.
AMLO does not assume his obligations: representative of Disney and Sony
As the United States Chamber of Commerce had already highlighted, the text ensures that the changes in the energy sector presented by López Obrador through memoranda since June 2020 to protect Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) violate Chapter 22 of the USMCA.
“It is very surprising to have this large number of industries that present so many concerns so early in the life of an agreement. And it speaks to the fact that the Mexican government has not taken its obligations seriously,” Pomper said.
In the text, organizations such as the US National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) or the Recording Industry Association (RIAA), asked the new US Trade Representative to call Mexico to order in at least 12 of the 36 chapters of the USMCA given its actions.
In the letter, the different organizations point out, among many other situations, lags and blockades by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) to approve new biotherapeutic and biotechnology products that violate chapters 12 and 3 of the USMCA.
Signatories include the US Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PHRMA), which represents drug companies like Pfizer and Merck, and the National Manufacturing Association (NAM), which represents companies like chemist Dow Chemical and autopartner Rockwell.
The letter comes the same week that the most powerful agricultural organizations in the US sent a letter independently to Ambassador Tai with a lengthy review of violations and potential violations by Mexico in areas such as the grain trade or organic food.
In their ratification hearing in the Senate Finance Committee, the new US Trade Representative assured that their country had the tools to address existing trade concerns with Mexico.