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Disruptions to Mexican Truck Traffic at Texas Ports of Entry Discussed in Vancouver

Mexico's Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Luz Maria de la Mora said that Mexico is working to complete the goals of the trade facilitation chapter in USMCA, so that with transparency and information sharing, even small businesses can access expedited release. De la Mora, who spoke in Spanish during a press conference in Vancouver, Canada, also attended by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Canada's trade minister. She said that all three countries have the goal of secure borders, but also borders that allow businesses to be competitive.

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She had been asked about Texas' secondary truck inspections, which snarled trade traffic at crossings. She said the countries want to avoid having localities take actions that affect efficient economic integration and traffic across borders. She said it's extremely important for strong regional and resilient supply chains.

In her opening remarks at the July 8 press conference, she said that the three countries can have differences in their interpretations, but the Mexican delegation is convinced that they are working on a solid relationship, with frank and fluid discussions that are approaching an institutionalization of the treaty. She said Mexico is committed to achieving the correct implementation of T-MEC, the name Mexico calls USMCA. Mexico and Canada are challenging the U.S. interpretation of auto rules of origin; a panel decision on the matter is expected in September.

The big news from the Free Trade Commission meeting was a memorandum of understanding between Canada and the U.S. to exclude Canadian solar panels from the global safeguard, currently at 14.75% (see 2207070041). However, the text of the agreement had not been published by press time. When asked by International Trade Today to describe the mechanism that will prevent Canadian exports from undermining the safeguard, Canada's trade minister, Mary Ng, avoided answering the question. She said, "We are pleased that this decision will allow for a greater integration between Canada and the United States so that we can do that work of fighting climate change together, and doing so in a way that will also help an industry that is incredibly important to our economy here in Canada, as well as in the United States... . We're confident that this work ahead is going to be beneficial for the Canadian solar industry and our colleagues in the United States." The text is expected after Ng and USTR Katherine Tai sign the document.