USMCA: committee to be created for import substitution to North America

Mexico, the United States and Canada agreed this Tuesday to create a committee for the substitution of imports to North America from Asia.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made the announcement as part of the agreements reached at the 10th North American Leaders’ Summit, which was also attended by U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mexico City.

The three countries are part of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA), which entered into force on July 1, 2020.

In 2020, the United States was the recipient of 17.6% of merchandise and services exports from the rest of the world (excluding intra-EU exports from the European Union).

Conversely, the United States supplied 13.6% of merchandise and services imports to the rest of the world (excluding intra-EU imports from the European Union).

Between 2018 and 2021, trade (exports and imports of goods and services) accounted for between 24% and 28% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States.

López Obrador detailed that this trilateral committee will be made up of 12 experts from the three countries.

Those corresponding to Mexico will be the Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, the Secretary of Finance, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, the Secretary of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro, and the Honorary Advisor to the Presidency, Alfonso Romo.


The United States maintains one of the most open trade regimes in the world; according to WTO data, in 2021 the arithmetic average of U.S. MFN tariffs was 3.34%, if the bound level is considered, and 2.34%, if the trade-weighted average is taken as a basis.

In terms of effectively applied duties (i.e., estimated taking into account GSP and other tariff preferences, as well as the increase in duties resulting from measures taken under Articles 232 and 301), the U.S. trade-weighted average tariff was 3.0 percent in 2021.

The arithmetic average final bound tariffs of our five major trading partners (the European Union, Canada, Mexico, China, and Japan) range from 4.6 to 36.5 percent, the arithmetic average applied tariff ranges from 4.0 to 7.5 percent, and the trade-weighted average tariff ranges from 2.4 to 4.1 percent.

In 2021, 66 percent of all U.S. imports (including those under preferential programs) entered the country duty free.

The United States is also among the countries with the fewest non-tariff barriers in the world.

U.S. services markets are open to foreign suppliers, with limited exceptions, and U.S. regulatory procedures are transparent, accessible, and open to public comment.


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