Mexican companies seek clarity on details of updated USMCA

Business leaders had very little time to analyze the changes negotiated in the USMCA

After the initial euphoria, some business leaders in Mexico were afflicted and resigned to accept a renewed trade agreement with the United States and Canada, the USMCA “T-MEC” as known in Mexico, which still does not know any details, but that could lead to a more strict and intrusive application of labor standards.

Moisés Kalach, a member of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE) and representative of the private sector in Mexico in the USMCA negotiations, said the companies felt marginalized in the last stage of the talks.

“We would have liked to have spent more time (in the negotiations), to be able to comment more. This is the reality, we participate, but not everything we would have wanted, ”Kalach said in a radio interview.

The initial version of the USMCA was signed over a year ago to replace the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1994, however, the Democrats, who dominate the US House of Representatives, insisted on making changes in labor and environmental matters before voting.

In an unusual display of bipartisan and cross-border cooperation in the era of President Donald Trump’s global trade conflicts, senior officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States signed a new revision of the trade pact on Tuesday.

Carlos Salazar, president of the largest CCE business union, said that last Sunday the entire Room of Together (consulting body) met to comment on the changes in the original USMCA.

When questioned about complaints from some industrialists who claim they only had one day to analyze the impacts of the changes, Salazar responded to journalists that “he gave the time he gave the moments of the agreement.”

Some Mexican business groups lamented the lack of clarity and conflicting information on how the rules would be enforced under the agreement, the text of which has not yet been made public.

Gustavo de Hoyos, president of Coparmex and harsh critic of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said that “until now almost nobody knows, more than the officials, the fine print of the treaty.” In addition, he called the government a “bad negotiator.”

Source: forbes mx, reuters

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