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Mexico to stand firm on NAFTA automotive rules

NAFTANAFTAMexico City : Mexican negotiators in North America Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) talks will defend the country’s stance on maintaining current automotive rules of origin requirements, an official has said.

Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), on Wednesday, said: “Our proposal is unique and we are not preparing any other.”

Solis was speaking at a press conference after revealing Mexico’s automotive statistics for October, Xinhua news agency reported.

Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the US will meet here from November 17 to 21 for the fifth round of Nafta renegotiation talks, which is set to tackle some of the most controversial topics.

The fourth round finished in Washington on October 17, with new challenges facing Canada and Mexico over differences concerning US proposals.

In terms of automotive rules of origin, Mexico and Canada have stood firm on their desire to maintain them at their current levels, 62.5 per cent for vehicles and 60 per cent for autoparts.

However, the American government is seeking to raise this to 85 per cent, including 50 per cent reserved for the US.

Solis said the US demands were “unacceptable”, and said that current levels had proven to be successful for all three Nafta partners.

Besides rules of origin, the fifth round will tackle other hard topics such as local content for the textile industry, government purchasing, agricultural trade and the elimination of a chapter on dispute resolution.

“It seems to me that the serious negotiation is just starting,” explained the AMIA chief.

Mexico, Canada and the US have been renegotiating Nafta since August, at the request of US President Donald Trump, who feels the agreement has hurt American interests.

—IANS

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