Auto Industry
Mexico asks Argentina to open their automotive market in exchange for Argentinean meat imports
Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Solá will meet with officials from the López Obrador administration. "Unless Argentina opens its car market, it is not viable," the Mexicans say.

The Mexican government is asking Alberto Fernández to open the automotive market to free trade in exchange for the import of Argentine meat. Foreign Minister Felipe Solá traveled to Mexico to participate in the Celac summit, where he will also attend bilateral meetings with the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

On Thursday, Solá will meet with Mexico's Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Luz María de la Mora. Graciela Marquez Colin, the Secretary of Economy, will travel with Lopez Obrador to the U.S. border.

Solá intends to offer three main items to the Mexicans: meat, black beans, and a more balanced relationship in tourism. Currently, out of every ten Argentines who travel to Mexico for pleasure, only one Mexican visits Argentina.

Mexico intends to import Argentinean meat because it would be cheaper than the premium meat they buy from the United States.

But the barriers on trade are the same as always: Argentina refuses to extend the Economic Complementation Agreements (ACE 3 and 55) that currently exist between Mexico and Mercosur for the automotive trade. Signed in 2002, the bilateral free trade agreement was supposed to come into effect in 2012, but Cristina Kirchner suspended it until 2016 and Mauricio Macri postponed it again due to the delicate situation of the auto industry until 2022.

Mexico, a country whose automotive industry exports cars even to the United States, is seeking at least an extension of the quotas that the EPAs have before applying tariffs. The country also plans to sell auto parts and light vehicles in the Argentine market.

Argentina is dragging its feet on this issue because it argues that it would destroy the country's automotive industry. Alberto met with the Smata union in December to bring them peace of mind, and in Mexico they heard about it.

"If they don't open the car market, it's not viable," sources from the López Obrador administration told LPO. The Mexican president had already warned Fernández back in November. 

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