• Draft Amendment to the Mexican Foreign Trade Law
  • April 13, 2010
  • Law Firm: Vazquez Tercero y Asociados, S.C. - Mexico, D.F. Office
  • On March 23, 2010, the PRI members of the Mexican Senate submitted a Draft Amendment Decree to the Foreign Trade Law (“FTL”). The proposed amendment provides for changes to several articles of the FTL with a view to transforming the Foreign Trade Commission (“COCEX”, by its Spanish acronym) into a decentralized public entity, with its own legal capacity and funds, and technical and operational autonomy; which will be headed by five commissioners with proven international trade experience, who shall be appointed by the President and ratified by the Senate.

    According to the new functions of COCEX, the entity would be vested with broad authority to analyze and resolve on tariff modifications proposed by the Ministry of Economy, as well as on rules or origin and country of origin markings; it shall render advisory opinions on non-tariff measures and restrictions to exports, imports and the circulation and transit of goods. Likewise, one of its main tasks would be to administer the proceedings and resolve on antidumping and subsidies investigations, as well as to propose to the Minister of Economy the measures that result from such investigations. In sum, it would assist the Ministry of Economy in the creation and operation of trade policy.

    The COCEX would have an Internal Council created to fully comply with the obligation of hearing the industrial sectors involved in trade matters and taking them into consideration; thereby avoiding unilateral decisions and even providing such council with advisory responsibilities during the course international trade negotiations.

    The amendments to the Foreign Trade Law also seek to demand from the President the annual submission of a detailed report to Congress, which also contains a medium term Foreign Trade Strategy which shall be approved by the Mexican Senate. Thus, it seeks to empower the Legislative Branch regarding the ratification of the commissioners, the approval of the strategic plan and assessment of the authority exercised by the Executive Branch in connection with foreign trade and, in addition to its participation through the Internal Council, a more active participation of Congress as regards the establishment of Mexico’s trade policy.

    As a whole, the driving force of the draft amendment is to improve the regulatory scheme of Mexican foreign trade, encourage competitiveness and provide for effective actions against unfair international trade practices.

    We are proud that our firm is currently advising the Trade and Industrial Promotion Committee of the Mexican Senate in connection to this Draft Amendment Decree.