Exclusive: North American carmakers want rules of origin in NAFTA left untouched - Mexico lobby

Mon May 22, 2017 8:39pm EDT
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By Anthony Esposito and Sharay Angulo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The auto industries of the United States, Canada and Mexico agree there should be no changes to rules of origin in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the president of the Mexican automakers' association said on Monday.

Under the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, rules of origin stipulate that products must meet minimum regional, or NAFTA-wide, content requirements to be tariff-free.

"Our position is that the trade agreement has been a success, and we shouldn't be touching something as important as the rules of origin," Eduardo Solis, president of Mexican automakers' industry group AMIA, told Reuters in an interview.

NAFTA's rules of origin, said Solis, have been key in creating value and integrating the auto industry in North America.

"In terms of access to markets and rules of origin, what we have is a shared position," said Solis.

Mexico boasts plants owned by global automakers including General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote), Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI: Quote) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote).

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday triggered a 90-day consultation period with Congress, industries and the American public that would allow talks over NAFTA, one of the world's biggest trading blocs, to begin by Aug. 16.

Authorities and businesses in Mexico have been bracing for the looming renegotiation, as Trump has insisted that a new pact must be more beneficial to American workers and companies.   Continued...

Eduardo Solis, President of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), gestures during an interview with Reuters in Mexico City, Mexico May 22, 2017.  REUTERS/Carlos Jasso