What does the protocol that replaces NAFTA mean for the T-MEC?

Jul 31, 2019 16:22 PM
The Mexican government published on Monday the decree approving the protocol that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC) and also the six parallel agreements agreed in the negotiation framework With this, Mexico practically concludes the internal procedures regarding the ratification of the agreement and would only subtract the sending of a diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its US counterparts in which it is notified that the internal processes regarding the ratification of the treaty were fulfilled. .

"Mexico's business partners in North America still have to ratify the T-MEC, once they do, they will do the same, they will notify their other two business partners in North America, and at that time when we have all three ratifications of The three countries define at the government level when the date of entry into force will be, "said Kenneth Smith, former chief negotiator of T-MEC, in an interview. For Eugenio Salinas, technical secretary of the Fourth of Together, a group of private initiative that participated in the negotiations of the agreement, although the publication of the protocol by the Government does not change anything at the moment and only reflects Mexico's compliance in administrative matters.process, the action taken sends a message to the U.S. .and Canada.
“I believe that we send a signal, first, that we are fulfilling what we offered; second, which is a priority agenda for Mexico; and the other is a ratification from our side that this is the treaty that we are recognizing as approved and signed and that there is no way or reason for any type of opening (of the T-MEC), ”said Salinas.

“For practical purposes, really, the publication in the DOF may have happened the day after the vote in the Senate happened, but now they publish it just when the visit of the congressmen ends. I understand that it was a positive visit, even the document sent to (Nancy) Pelosi rescues many positive things, but it does bring a language that I feel is more directed to the White House, to (Robert) Lighthizer than to us ” said Baker. Last Friday, the group of nine Democrats selected to negotiate the demands of the party in the agreement, expressed in a report that they seek to make changes in environmental, labor, intellectual property and mandatory execution of the negotiated. This week, the Democrats would send the proposals for adjustments to the T-MEC to the US Commercial Representation (USTR) waiting for their answer, they said in the report sent to Nancy Pelosi, president of the House of Representatives.
“Surely there will be requests to reopen the text. The Trump administration continues to say that it will not be reopened by Pandora's box that this would open, it would bank the three countries to sit down to negotiate, at least partially, and that is where the balance sheets of such a complex negotiation, ”said Smith.
Fernando Ruiz, general director of the Mexican Council of Foreign Trade (Comce), agreed with Smith, and assured that in the ideal scenario a reopening is not visualized.
“I understand that if it opens it is because it is an emergency, but obviously I agree and I believe that both the Mexican government and the Mexican private sector are there because the negotiation does not open. I think it is premature to talk about whether the negotiation is going to open because it is part of the American process, precisely these comments that are made are as a result of that consultation that is open among the Americans, ”said Ruiz.
Political Struggle

In turn, Smith said that, in the framework of negotiations between the United States trade representation and the Democrats regarding the T-MEC, there is an electoral context that develops between the Americans and in which President Trump seeks to use the ratification of the agreement as "The only constructive part of this destructive trade policy" that has been carried out in regards to its administration "Obviously, the Democrats know it and also want to be the ones who come to the presidential campaign with the narrative that they were included in the ratification of the T-MEC, which is nothing more than an agreement that belongs to Trump, who negotiated, ratified and presented, but the Democrats also played a role.

They want to put the seal in the house and use it in his favor also in presidential campaigns without a doubt, so there is an incentive for both parties to ratify this year, whether they succeed or not, nothing is certain t still, "Smith considered.