March 1, 2021

The president of Mexico rules out that tariffs on steel affect the T-MEC

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ruled out Tuesday that the recent imposition of tariffs on Mexican structural steel by the United States affects the free trade agreement between Mexico, the US and Canada (T-MEC).

"I want to separate these measures and we are going to say that they are isolated decisions, which do not have to do directly with the free trade agreement, it is another issue," the president said at the morning conference at the National Palace.

The Department of Commerce of the United States resolved on Monday that there are sufficient reasons – unfair competition and subsidies – to impose tariffs on structural steel manufactured in Mexico and China.

In response, the Ministry of Economy announced that it will maintain its support to Mexican companies that are affected by the US decision.

About this new conatus of commercial war opened by the United States, the leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) affirmed that on Tuesday he will meet with his cabinet to discuss the matter.

As explained by Jesus Seade, Undersecretary for North America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), this tariff decision is "different" from other threats.

Like the announcement at the end of May – which finally did not materialize – that tariffs would be applied to all Mexican products if the country did not slow down migration.

"However, we are going to address this issue and we were already looking at the tomato, which has been time consuming and affects the domestic producers," the president added.

On May 7, the United States annulled the application of the Tomato Suspension Agreement, in effect since 1996, which suspended the application of US anti-dumping laws (against unfair competition) to the Mexican tomato sector.

"We have information, because we have responsibilities, that in the case of tomato in particular there are political-electoral interests, particularly in Florida", linked to a legislator, he said.

He considered that in the tomato issue it is "completely unfair".

And he announced that this Wednesday, also at the morning conference, a presentation of the situation will be held with the presence of the foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, and the Secretary of Economy, Graciela Márquez.

Questioned on the relationship with the United States and its president, Donald Trump, reiterated that this is "very good" and showed "with confidence" to face "this new challenge" tariff.

"They listen to us and there is respect for the Government of Mexico," the president added.

(tagsToTranslate) president (t) Mexico (t) discards (t) tariffs (t) T-MEC

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