Mexico, US and Canada Seek to Substitute 25% of Asian Imports for LatAm Products

The substitution of imports from Asia could be a multi-million-dollar business opportunity for Mexico

The creation of a self-sufficiency committee for North America aims to substitute 25% of imports into the three countries from Asia by imports from Latin America
January 13, 2023 | 04:53 PM

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Mexico City — The creation of a self-sufficiency committee for North America aims to substitute 25% of imports into the three countries from Asia by imports from Latin America, and which, according to Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, could represent “multimillion-dollar” investments for Mexico.

However, “it’s a huge job,” Ebrard conceded during a routine morning press conference by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday following the meeting between López Obrador, US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the week.

The establishment of a 12-member self-sufficiency committee was one of the agreements of the North American Leaders’ Summit, which took place on January 10 in Mexico City.

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The three countries will each propose four members for the formation of the group of specialists and experts in the field, whose mission will be to persuade and convince workers, businesses and public servants from the three governments of the importance of uniting the entire continent.

On Mexico’s side, the committee will include the participation of Ebrard, Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O., Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro, and businessman Alfonso Romo.

Energy controversies

López Obrador said that he did not discuss with his US and Canadian counterparts the issue of the ongoing energy dispute, because there is a procedure for that, established in the free trade agreement between the three countries, the USMCA.

The Mexican president added that he is going to meet with one private company, without specifying which, regarding an electric power controversy, as a result of a decision by the Supreme Court.

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He said the controversy in question regards a company selling energy to other companies.

“We are going to look for a way out, as we have always done,” he said.

The Mexican president also said he will also meet with TC Energy - formerly TransCanada - regarding the construction of a gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico in association with state-owned utility CFE, and which is Canada’s largest investment in Mexico.

For his part, Canadian PM Trudeau is is very pleased that Canadian investors have Mexico as a preferred country for their investments, which last year totaled $3.5 billion, López Obrador said.

Clean energy

Ebrard also mentioned that the Mexican president presented the ‘Sonora Plan’ at the Summit, which contemplates the largest solar facility in Latin America, as well as facilities for electric vehicles, batteries and accelerating the semiconductor industry in the northwestern state.

“The US and Canada are going to participate with us so that we have a common plan, so that we go at the same pace,” Ebrard said, pointing out that Mexico produces almost a third of its electricity with clean technology and has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 13%, while its goal is to decrease emissions by 35% by more than doubling its clean energy generation capacity.