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In his first trip abroad, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador travels to Washington Tuesday through Thursday to meet with President Donald Trump to mark the new trade deal among the United States, Mexico and Canada, which took effect July 1. Mexico border correspondent Alfredo Corchado interviewed Mexican Ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui in Washington about the deal’s impact on Mexico and the U.S.
Give us two or three examples of how the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will help Mexico become more competitive.
In general, USMCA will make Mexico and the whole region more competitive.
USMCA modernizes trade rules, adapting them to the 21st century economy, particularly on digital trade, non-tariff barriers, financial services, fostering the competitiveness of telecommunications, and strengthening the protection of intellectual property.
It also promotes more inclusive and responsible regional trade. It facilitates more responsible environmental and social priorities, strengthening the protection of workers and the commitment to combat corruption. With the new chapter on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) the USMCA will promote more opportunities for Mexican businesses and entrepreneurs to increase exports, as well as their participation in global and North American supply chains.
Given the integration between both countries, what are the limits to better relations and why is President López Obrador coming to meet with President Trump?
President López Obrador considers USMCA a new era of integration that will make the region more competitive.
In light of COVID-19, the need to strengthen the regional supply chains is even more obvious, as is the need to address the health challenges of the pandemic. As for better relations and friendship, the main limit has always has been respect for Mexican sovereignty. Friendship does not mean we agree on all issues, but that we are capable of processing our differences.
On the other hand I would like to underline that a relationship that is so complex, and that involves millions of stakeholders in two of the largest countries in the world, does not allow for rigidity.
There are certainly challenges that are not new, and there are also differing and contrasting visions from both governments on issues such as migration and security, but that is just one piece of the huge U.S.-Mexico mosaic.
The first step is to overcome any type of limits. You mentioned our trade, but you can also look at the common and individual contributions of Mexicans in the U.S.
There are more than 35 million people of Mexican origin in the U.S. who are mostly hardworking people who want to build a better future for themselves.
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