MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s textiles and apparel industry has urged the government to strike a deal with China to immediately resolve its 2012 World Trade Organization complaint against “illegal” subsidies to importers, which it claims have hurt Mexico’s exports the U.S.

In a joint statement, textile and apparel industry chambers Canaintex and Canaive said a deal must be reached as “the highest priority and with the outmost urgency” to end the two countries’ hugely unbalanced trade relationship.

The statement came as Mexican and Chinese presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Xi Jinping signed several strategic agreements to bolster the two countries’ trade relations.

One agreement involves the joint creation of a “working group” to improve Customs cooperation and knowledge between both countries to tackle the growing tide of subvalued Chinese apparel imports to Mexico.

While welcoming such a move, Canaintex and Canaive said that 70 percent of subvalued textile imports reaching Mexico between January and April originated from China and Hong Kong.

In addition, China exported $2.2 billion worth of textiles and apparel to Mexico in 2012 while Mexico exported just $150 million to China.

“We hope the dialogue between these two governments will culminate into greater access to Mexican textile products to China…,” the associations said.

As part of the China-Mexico strategic pact, a special unit to strengthen bilateral trade between both nations will be set up in the Economy Ministry, both governments said.

Mexico and China also will create a China-Latin America enterprise committee with Mexico becoming one of its key members.

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