Exclusive: Mexico courts companies to lure business from Asia under new trade deal

FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s Economy Minister Graciela Marquez attends Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador daily news conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

July 20, 2020

By Stefanie Eschenbacher and Anthony Esposito

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has spoken to a host of foreign companies, particularly steelmakers, in an effort to lure business from Asia to capitalize on a new North American trade deal, Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said on Monday.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) took effect at the beginning of this month and replaced its quarter-century-old predecessor as the coronavirus pandemic wallops the global economy and international trade.

“In steel we see the biggest opportunity,” Graciela Marquez, a Harvard-trained economist, told Reuters in an interview. “We want to show these companies the opportunities that open up with this increase in regional content requirements.”

Marquez said the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has held talks with foreign steelmakers, including South Korea’s POSCO <005490.KS>, Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp <5401.T> and Mitsubishi Corp <8508.T> and Ternium <TX.N>, about investing in Mexico to produce steel for the auto sector.

(Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Anthony Esposito; Editing by Tom Brown)

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