April 20, 2021

The Mexican Senate approves reforms to adapt the legislation to the T-MEC

The Mexican Senate approved on Monday in an extraordinary session five legislative initiatives that adapt Mexican legislation to the new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada (T-MEC), which will enter into force on July 1.

Just two days after the implementation of the new treaty and after several weeks of discussions, the senators harmonized Mexican laws with the standards in the field of intellectual property, copyright and environmental protection required by the trade agreement.

Four of the five initiatives will have to be ratified by the Chamber of Deputies, which has already called an extraordinary session for this Tuesday, just one day after the entry into force of the T-MEC.

The senators approved the Industrial Innovation Protection Law, which regulates industrial secrets and sanctions acts against industrial property and unfair competition.

This is the text that generated the most debate in commissions during the previous days due to the established deadlines for manufacturers to produce generic drugs.

The senators agreed that the new drugs will be patented for 20 years, but from the first day of the patent, the manufacture of generics can be investigated so that they can be marketed from the same day that it expires.

Likewise, the Quality Infrastructure Law was approved, which regulates environmental protection standards, and the Federal Copyright Law as well as the Federal Penal Code on unauthorized recording of cinematographic works were amended.

The initiative already approved in the Chamber of Deputies of the General Import and Export Tax Law, which updates the tariffs on current international trade, was also ratified.

During the debate, the leader in the Senate of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena), Ricardo Monreal, thanked the different parliamentary groups for having put “the national interest above”.

“We have to act with a high eye, facing the great challenges that Mexico has, especially now sharpened by the post-COVID-19 stage, which will leave impressive consequences in economic matters,” he said.

For his part, Senator Gustavo Enrique Madero, of the opposition National Action Party (PAN), applauded the approval of the laws but attacked Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for preparing a meeting with Donald Trump to celebrate the launch of the T -MEC.

He called it an “inopportune trip” that will be “used” by the President of the United States to defend the construction of the border wall.

This Wednesday, July 1, the T-MEC will come into force to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in force since 1994.

Upon coming to power in 2017, Trump forced the negotiation of a new trade agreement that representatives of the three governments finally signed on December 10, 2019 in the Mexican capital.


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