English, News

COFECE Proposals & Global Economy – Economic Newsletter

23 Oct , 2020  

International Trade News in Mexico

Reactivating the Mexican Economy

The Mexican Antitrust Commission (COFECE, acronym in Spanish) presented 12 measures in order to reactivate the national economy for the following relevant sectors: pharmaceutical, financial, energy, transportation, public procurement, and regulation. 

VTZ highlights that one of these measures focuses on International Trade regulations, specifically on trade remedies matters. In general, the COFECE proposed measure consists of “avoiding the imposition of restrictive measures on international trade without a prior analysis of the negative effects on the consumer.”

Though many of the proposals are encouraged, VTZ notes that some of these “trade” measures would require reforming Mexico’s International Trade Law.

What does COFECE propose?

  • Making transparent and justifying the allocation of import quotas mechanisms, favoring public bidding.
  • Establishing transparent methodologies and technical criteria on the dumping margin calculations, the injury analysis, and the causal relationship.
  • Implementing a lesser duty rule.
  • Carrying out a public interest test considering industrial users and consumers.
  • That the Ministry of the Economy actively initiates reviews on antidumping duties.
  • Avoiding simultaneous trade measures in the same sector.

Modifying the operation of the International Trade Commission (ITC) so that (i) its composition is more balanced, for example, including the Federal Attorney for the Consumer (PROFECO, acronym in Spanish), (ii) having the opportunity to hear the opinion of those who may be affected; (iii)publishing the stenographic versions of the sessions; and (iv) the information allows the ITC to assess the potential costs and benefits of the proposed measure, with special care on the consumer.

Eco-Trolleybuses and Tariffs 

Yesterday, October 22, the Government of Mexico published a Decree modifying its tariffs items and duties. In line with Mexico’s commitments on climate change and promoting the use of cleaner energies, the President ordered unfolding tariff items regarding used and new trolleybuses as well as their respective tariffs.

Accordingly, new trolleybuses are subject to a 0% import duty, a rate that will be temporarily available until September 30th, 2024, while used trolleybuses will be subject to a 50% tariff.

Hopefully, the Mexican Government does not forget to renew the 0% import duty before its expiry.

UNCTAD, COVID, and the Global Economy

Last month, UNCTAD released its 2020 Trade and Development Report. On its website, a short article addressing the report and the global economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic was published.
Accordingly, UNCTAD warns of “a lost decade” if national governments decide to adopt austerity policies. It should come as no surprise that austerity policies would trigger low job creation, stagnant wages, slower economic growth, and increased pressure on government budgets. It would also mean not fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In contrast, the article indicates that boosting public investment with international support and coordination could double the global growth rate for the next decade. Also, UNCTAD emphasizes actions that the multilateral system can take for economic recovery, such as expanding the use of Special Drawing Rights to boost global liquidity and the closure of the Doha Development Agenda, which has been suspended or frozen for almost two decades.

According to UNCTAD, the world economy will contract this year by more than 4%, leaving a deficit in world production at the end of the year of more than $ 6 trillion (US dollars), while “trade will shrink by around one-fifth this year, foreign direct investment by up to 40%.”

In the case of Latin America, the article points out that the region is likely to have a decline in production of 7.6% this year, while some of its largest economies, Argentina and Mexico, will have a sharp double-digit decline. 

For this reason, the Director of the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies of UNCTAD Richard Kozul-Wright mentions that “[…] a V-shaped recovery… would require double-digit global growth next year, which is out of the question.”