NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons traveled to Mexico City this week to participate in U.S.–Mexico–Canada business delegation meetings at the North American Leaders’ Summit.
The background: The trilateral summit brought together U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to advance North American solutions to current challenges facing the region.
- The leaders’ meetings focused on issues including competitiveness, climate, immigration, development, the environment, health and diversity and inclusion.
The goal: The NAM was focused on conveying the critical importance of full implementation of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement to support North American competitiveness, investment and supply chain resiliency. Timmons emphasized the need for an investment climate that is grounded in core principles like transparency and the rule of law.
Strengthening alliances: During a conversation with Prime Minister Trudeau, Timmons praised Canada’s partnership in launching USMCA consultations on Mexico’s energy policies and urged continued cooperation.
- “We firmly believe that the USMCA should be a model for how our three nations can capitalize on our close regional economic ties,” said Timmons during a meeting with the prime minister. “That means we have to make sure our governments are upholding their commitments under the agreement.”
Demanding accountability: In a meeting with U.S., Mexican and Canadian economic ministers, Timmons lauded free trade and pressed the nations to live up to the promises made under international agreements.
- “The USMCA can only reach its full potential if we all respect the agreements that have been made to bind our countries together,” said Timmons.
Laying out challenges: During the meeting, Timmons urged our North American partners to address a series of issues that have caused concern for manufacturers in the United States. He cited a number of challenges related to Mexico that spurred a lengthy exchange with new Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro. These issues included:
- Mexican energy and power policies that have favored the interests of Mexican state-owned entities over U.S. companies;
- Labeling requirements for food and nonalcoholic beverages;
- Lack of competition in Mexico’s telecommunications market;
- Measures that would require overly costly and complicated electronic waybills (the “Carta Porte” issue);
- Mexico’s delayed approvals of biopharmaceuticals and other products; and
- Mexico’s bans on the sale of certain goods including chemicals and genetically modified corn.
Timmons also highlighted a number of differences with Canada in recent years, including on the regulation of plastics, patent reviews and dairy market access.
The big picture: During the trip, Timmons underscored the importance of capitalism and free markets, both in North America and more broadly, according to POLITICO (subscription).
- “The world is changing right now,” said Timmons. “We have democracies versus autocracies, we have freedom versus repression, we have capitalism versus a command economy. And I think our challenge is to really emphasize the power of free markets to lift everyone up and show how it creates opportunities and enhances the quality of life.”