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On Wednesday last week, Luz María de la Mora, Underminister of International Trade, and Ernesto Acevedo, Underminister of Industry and Trade, attended to a hearing in the Economy Commission of the Mexican Senate.
Ernesto Acevedo’s speech was fully focused on the current state of the steel Industry. We highlight that the underminister mentioned that the decree that is going to establish a raise of (MFN) tariffs (also improperly known as safeguards) is “in the process of the presidential signature” and that import licenses may be implemented for temporal steel imports made by IMMEX (maquiladora) companies.
During his speech, he also noted the importance of the Steel Industry for the Mexican economy, the global overcapacity in steel, that the trade war between China and US does not benefit Mexico, and that Mexico has a trade deficit and its major suppliers are US, Japan, and South Korea.
Luz María de la Mora’s speech aimed at the 232 US measures against Mexican steel and aluminum. We highlight that she mentioned that the Ministry is currently in talks with the USTR in order to eliminate the measures and that they are also analyzing whether to do adjustment to the US products that are subject to Mexico’s countermeasures in order to pressure new US representatives that are in Congress.
Furthermore, she noted that the Steel Industry has requested “mirror countermeasures”, but that the Ministry has a more wide vision in the sense that it is necessary to have a variety of products since this is mainly a political dispute and not economic.
Yesterday it was reported that the Chief of the Presidency Office, Alfonso Romo, mentioned that the government does not reject the idea to modify CPTPP through side-letters, statements made in an event of the textile industry. In fact, Mexico executed two side letters with Vietnam:
In particular, we note that Mr. Romo commented that “if we have to do a mistake, we will do so protecting than not protecting, it is the only way that we can have a powerful Mexico.” The textile industry argues that it is in a disadvantage regarding the Vietnamese industry (CPTPP party), which has State-Owned Enterprises.