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Mexico’s NAFTA Objectives

2 Aug , 2017  

Today, August 2, 2017, the Senate released a document entitled “Notice regarding the Initiation of the Negotiations regarding NAFTA’s modernization” that was provided by the Ministry of Economy. In said document, the Ministry of Economy explained the reasons why it should participate in the renegotiation. We highlight the following statements:

  • Mexico will not accept an increase of tariffs;
  • Mexico is willing to modernize NAFTA with new disciplines of the XXI century;
  • NAFTA should continue being a trilateral agreement;

Furthermore, the Ministry of Economy also published Mexico’s priorities in NAFTA’s negotiation. In harmony with recent statements from the Mexican Minister of Economy, the document does not specify specific objectives. However, it is mentioned that Mexico has the following priorities: 1. Strengthening the competitiveness of the region,  2. An Inclusive and Responsible Regional Trade, 3. Reap the Benefits of the XXI century economy, and 4. Foster Security and Predictability in North American Trade & Investment.

In that sense, if NAFTA is modernized it should create the following benefits:

  • Maintain market access for goods and services without barriers, in particular for agricultural products;
  • Rules of Origins that benefit the region;
  • Trade Facilitation and better customs procedures;
  • Regulatory harmony in Sanitary & Phytosanitary measures;
  • Improve labor integration in the North American Market by increasing the categories of temporal movements of business persons as well as improving time frames, transparency, and procedures for their entry. Also, promote regional cooperation  regarding the development of labor capacities;
  • Strengthening the enforcement of labor laws;
  • Assistance to SMEs and including provisions regarding Gender Equality;
  • Improving NAFTA’s dispute settlements mechanisms, including Chapter 19 (Antidumping), Chapter 11 (Investor-State), and Chapter 20 (State-State);
  • Transparency and Anticorruption disciplines;
  • E-Commerce;
  • Improving market access to financial services for Mexican Investors;
  • Enhancing the North American Development Bank; and,
  • Energy disciplines.
  • Disciplines regarding SOE;
  • Promote competition, improving cooperation between the NAFTA Parties.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Economy stated that the objective is to have an expedite negotiation process and maintain Mexico’s benefits.

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