The T-MEC offers a historic opportunity for the rebound of the Mexican economy, but it is up to the government to take advantage of it, businessmen said on Tuesday.

He new trade agreement between Mexico, United States and Canada (T-MEC), which comes into effect on Wednesday, offers a historic opportunity for the rebound of the Mexican economy, but it depends on the government take advantage of it, businessmen expressed this Tuesday.

Even if Mexico should be a natural destination for investments, for the T-MEC and for the global disruption of value chains, “there is a lot of work to be done,” says Claudia Jañez, president of the Global Business Executive Council (CEEG), in an interview with EFE.

“It is in our interest that the investment instead of going to another country comes to MexicoAnd today it is costing us a little more work. In the end, with a pandemic, with an economic crisis, because capital is going to go where it is welcome, capital is going to go where there are clear rules, “he says.

The T-MEC will replace this July 1 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in force since 1994 and called “the worst trade deal in history ” by the president Donald Trump, who ordered to renew it in 2017.

After one of the most difficult negotiations in its history, the Mexican government considers the T-MEC as a main tool to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, which will cause a contraction of up to 10.5 percent of GDP in 2020 in Mexico, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Mexican industry has the specific objective of attracting $ 20 billion in investment, equivalent to 25 percent of those made by the United States in China in the last 10 years, according to the Foreign Trade Commission of the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin).

But for this to happen there must be “an inalienable commitment” to the rule of law, certainty, competition policies and respect for contracts, says the president of the CEEG, whose 53 companies provide 10 percent of GDP, 11 percent of exports, 40 percent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and 500 thousand direct jobs.

“We are a little worried, we have also exterminated it, it seems to us that the signals that have sometimes been sent on a daily basis (have been) with a rhetoric that can be considered private anti-investment, and that this has to change“He thinks.

New position

He T-MEC strengthens Mexico’s position in a market of 490 million people, a GDP of 23 trillion dollars and a commercial exchange of 1.16 trillion dollars, according to the Ministry of Economy (SE).

In addition, it comes “at a very unique moment”, the pandemic of COVID-19, with which Mexico can be placed as a focal point for world trade, indicates Gerardo Tajonar, president of the National Association of Importers and Exporters of the Mexican Republic (Anierm).

“Although it is true that at this time the economy will continue to have difficulties, we must be in the great opportunities that are going to be generated, we are going to occupy spaces that the Chinese have left due to the trade war between United States and China“Argues Tajonar.

La Anierm, with more than 5 thousand members, agrees with the CEEG that the T-MEC brings challenges in the new labor rights, the rules of origin of the automotive industry, electronic commerce and the internalization of new regulations in companies.

It also foresees a major transformation for manufacturing, which accounts for 87 percent of exports, according to the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade (Comce).

“The Mexican manufacturing industry has great possibilities of reposition in the US and Canadian markets and that the Chinese industry had taken a little space from us, “says Tajonar.

Limited opportunity

Despite the T-MEC, the president’s actions Andrés Manuel López Obrador, particularly in the energy sector, create uncertainties that would prevent taking advantage of the T-MEC, warned Christopher Landau, ambassador of U.S.

“This is a golden moment for Mexico (to) attract foreign investment and I hope they will not waste it, frankly, because for me it would be a historical tragedy to lose that opportunity and that window will not be open much longer,” he said last week. .

Among these decisions are to cancel the New Mexico International Airport, suspend a Constellation Brands brewery and curb private contracts to favor state power companies.

“To the T-MEC It has been associated with it as an ingredient in which there may be a significant take-off from the Mexican economy. The truth is that I see this with some reluctance, ”says Juan Francisco Torres, managing partner of the Hogan Lovells firm.

With information from EFE