“We are considering this agreement as it is. We are not considering anything else,” de la Mora said during an event at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. “I think that the USTR or the U.S. administration will have to explain what’s in there and how this agreement responds to their concerns, which is exactly what we’re doing” with Mexican Congress.
Though USMCA brings NAFTA labor and environmental provisions into the core text, making them legally enforceable, Democrats have expressed concern about whether such provisions will be enforceable in practice. Democrats also have expressed concern about a provision that would provide a 10-year exclusivity period for test data to be utilized in development of biologic medicines.
The 10-year test period is longer than the maximum eight-year period provided in the Trans-Pacific Partnership but shorter than the 12-year timeline provided in U.S. law.
Mexico currently is considering labor reform legislation, in line with USMCA, de la Mora said.
She also noted that U.S. Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs “need to be solved soon.” While there is a global steel overcapacity issue, Mexico isn’t part of the problem and runs a trade deficit with the U.S. in steel, de la Mora said. Customs and Border Protection mechanisms to monitor and combat transshipment could be a potential solution, she said.
Mexico is considering changing its mix of U.S. products targeted in ongoing retaliation for U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, de la Mora said. Those products will likely include new agricultural and industrial products, she said.