The government of Canada proposed that “essential industries” be defined in the framework of the Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC), according to a report issued this Monday by the Ministry of Economy.
The proposal arises after on April 29, 2020, Martha Bárcena, then Mexican ambassador to the United States, questioned that the United States government did not coordinate the determination of strategic productive sectors with Mexico and Canada in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“And we saw when suddenly, both countries (the United States and Mexico) closed our economies quite suddenly in March, that a lot of problems arose, because our definitions of essential industries were not aligned and we did not have, and still do not have, a formal or institutionalized mechanism to try to solve these challenges and keep trade open ”, the then United States Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, also agreed.
Now, the director general for North America of the Canadian Ministry of Global Affairs, Eric Walsh, exposed that the T-MEC Competitiveness Committee It could help make the benefits of this trade agreement include entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups such as women and indigenous peoples.
“In addition, he considered that the Committee could address competitiveness in areas such as renewable energy, supply chains and find common definitions of essential industries to ensure that the region is better prepared to face the challenges that could arise in the future,” he said. the report of the Ministry of Economy.
Walsh reiterated that the mechanism should be complementary to other existing collaborative efforts in the region, such as the “road map” agreed in the recent edition of the North American Leaders Summit.
Walsh’s positions were set in the framework of the first face-to-face meeting of the T-MEC Competitiveness Committee, as part of the trilateral forum “T-MEC and Workforce Development: Building a Competitive North America”.
The event was co-organized by the George W. Bush Presidential Center in conjunction with the North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO) and took place on December 5, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.
In the initial panel of the forum, the perspective of the three countries on the T-MEC Competitiveness Committee, which did not exist in the Tratad TLCAN, preceding commercial treaty.
Right there, the undersecretary of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy of Mexico, Luz Maria de la Mora, agreed on the importance of matching the needs of the market with the capabilities of working people in North America, to show that regional integration really benefits people.
De la Mora also indicated that despite the fact that the chapter on competitiveness of the T-MEC it is not binding, it can provide legitimacy and credibility to the region.
Finally, the United States Deputy Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, Daniel Watson, referred to the Committee as unique in the trade agreement, as it establishes a permanent forum for the three nations to work together to consider next actions that They can be taken to improve the competitiveness of the region and promote the well-being of workers.
He endorsed the commitment that the administration of US President Joe Biden has regarding the defense of labor rights and a trade policy focused on working people.