Mexican automotive sector asks for NAFTA rules of origin to be unchanged

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-23 06:59:17|Editor: Zhou Xin
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MEXICO CITY, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The president of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), Eduardo Solis, said Tuesday that current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rule of origin requirements "should remain at the current level."

"We have determined, along with our colleagues from the United States and Canada, that this rule of origin should be maintained as it is, knowing that it has succeeded in helping the three countries in the success we have had," he told journalists during a press call.

As the first round of NAFTA renegotiation closed on Sunday in Washington D.C., U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said his government is seeking to increase the percentage of local products mandated by NAFTA rules of origin, in order to reduce its trade deficit with Mexico.

The second round will take place in Mexico City from Sept. 1-5.

The automotive sectors in all three countries have called upon negotiators to oppose stricter rules of origin requirements.

The current regional content required for vehicles and auto parts within NAFTA is 62.5 percent, making it the most strict sector in the free-trade agreement.

Solis noted that, of all the vehicles sold in the U.S., only 14 percent are made in Mexico.

However, Solis commented that no details about the automotive sector were discussed during the first round.

"Topics relevant to our sector were not addressed...they are revising general matters about the negotiation itself, but did not make it to specific topics," he explained.

The main topics under discussion during the first round were general rules of origin, salary levels and NAFTA's Chapter 19, concerning dispute settlement.