Mexico’s Economy Ministry said on Friday, Feb. 4th, the country would negotiate the terms of its export of solar energy equipment to the United States, after U.S. President Joe Biden extended some Trump-era tariffs by four years.
Under the proclamation signed Friday, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) must enter talks with Mexico and Canada to “ensure that imports (from the two countries) do not undermine the effectiveness” of the tariffs.
Mexico and Canada are not currently exempt from the tariffs, although the USTR could partially or completely exempt them from paying up.
The tariffs, which went into effect in 2018, apply to the most common type of solar cells and panels, made of crystalline silicon. They started at 30% and declined to 15% in the final year.
In response to Biden’s move, Mexico’s Economy Ministry said in a statement that it “will lead negotiations with the (USTR) to maintain the competitiveness and certainty for trade and investment in North America.”
The ministry, however, held out the possibility of “taking measures in accordance with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO),” which could include exclusion rights or a suspension of concessions.
Canada requested a USMCA dispute settlement panel in June to address the solar tariffs.
In early January, Mexico requested a similar panel in regards to a dispute with the United States over differing interpretations of rules of origin in the automotive industry.
Source: El Financiero