(Expansion) – While the best way to value the T-MEC for 2026 is defined, we should take care at least not to add non-compliances. Ultimately, it is a binding instrument subject to the international principle of pacta sunt servanda (treaties bind the parties and must be fulfilled in good faith).
The challenge of complying with the commitments of the labor chapter (comply with the legitimacy of collective contracts by May 1, 2023, for example) and the obligations related to the protection of investments, particularly in the energy sector, will undoubtedly be issues central to our trade partners, and a discretionary fulfillment of the commitments only contributes to a hostile climate in the evaluation of the functionality and economic impact of the treaty.
An excellent indicator of compliance with the T-MEC commitments is provided by the figures of foreign investment and its maintenance in the country, since it would be counterintuitive for investors to risk their capital in a country where rights protections are not being provided. of intellectual property, where there is corruption in the areas of commerce, and where no limits are imposed on state trading companies, among many other obligations required by the treaty.
But the success of the T-MEC requires many other administrative efforts: improve foreign trade programs, facilitate customs procedures, provide physical and legal security in trade operations, etc. However, despite a stagnation in several of these items, it is likely that our exports will continue to grow significantly due to the nearshoring phenomenon.
This option attracts foreign investment back to the United States or to nearby countries, due to the reconfiguration of global supply chains and trends related to the sustainability of trade, in part derived from the growing trade tensions with China, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the effects on the production of goods necessary to face health problems generated by COVID-19, among others.
According to figures estimated by the Inter-American Development Bank, this phenomenon could generate an increase of up to 78,000.00 million dollars in new exports of goods and services for Latin America and the Caribbean, with Mexico and Brazil being the ones that would benefit the most.
Complying with the T-MEC gives certainty to investors and prevents the diversion of their investments to countries with lower risks. This would perhaps be the main task that our authorities should focus on, since the expected benefits would far exceed any growth forecast for our economy.
Acting quickly to “strengthen” the T-MEC and promote nearshoring , promoting the results and advantages that the treaty offers to investors who, yes or yes, will have to leave China, is something that does not require large expenses to convince companies. (US and other regions) of the benefits of this instrument.
Companies are evaluating various destinations (including countries that do not have a treaty of this nature with the United States, such as Brazil), so it would be convenient to go and offer them all the possible advantages to develop their projects in our country.
Mexico should raise its sights above the automotive sector and the aeronautical industry to produce the microcomponents that new technologies demand, which others are doing aggressively and with resources that we do not have (Japan’s METI recently announced that it will contribute 3.5 billions of dollars in subsidies for the production of semiconductors in its territory).
The international context of high geopolitical tension supposes incentives to restructure global production processes to mitigate the Chinese risk. Having an instrument such as the T-MEC and our favored geographic location make Mexico a natural candidate for investors in nearshoring processes to the US market .
The evaluation of the fledgling T-MEC will not happen in the absence of a context. If this situation is taken advantage of, the result will undoubtedly be positive for Mexico and North America. Not rowing downstream would be another missed opportunity for our country.
Editor’s note: Carlos Véjar is an expert lawyer in international trade and arbitration, partner of Holland & Knight. Follow him on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.