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EU Telecommunications Industry: USMCA protects autonomy from IFT

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) of the United States has warned that if the government disappears the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), it would violate the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA).

“We are concerned about the public support of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to eliminate or absorb certain independent and autonomous regulators in the Executive Branch, among them the IFT and the antitrust regulator (COFECE),” said the TIA, in a letter sent, along with another 18 business associations, to the USTR.

The Ministry of Economy has publicly recognized that the USMCA protects the autonomy of the IFT and COFECE and said that President López Obrador indicated that he would respect the USMCA.

However, the associations refer, on February 25 President López Obrador again questioned the value of these regulators during his morning press conference.

For this reason, the associations expressed that they are concerned about the possibility of a bill on autonomous regulators being presented in the Mexican Congress that could include measures that impact the independence of the IFT or reduce its budget or technical expertise.

From the point of view of the associations, these new proposals are contrary to articles 18.6 and 18.17 of the USMCA, as well as the principles of the constitutional reforms of Mexico.

Telecommunications

They also argued that the Mexican government is moving to increase costs for US telecommunications equipment manufacturers.

In-country testing requirements proposed by the Government of Mexico in February 2020 (in Technical Provision IFT-012-2019) would increase costs for US companies selling covered mobile devices and harm companies that provide testing services. , inspection and certification.

Furthermore, according to their arguments, they would also be redundant for tests conducted in the United States and around the world, and without any conceivable benefit to the safety of the Mexican consumer.

While the Government of Mexico intended to implement the new requirements in February 2021, it has since delayed their implementation and submitted the proposal to the WTO for review.

If implemented, the associations said, these requirements would likely violate the provisions of the USMCA (Art. 11.6) in which Mexico agreed to accept the results of foreign conformity assessments.

 

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