North America
U.S. Senators ask Pompeo to protect U.S.-Mexico Supply Chain
A group of senators sent a letter to the Secretary of State asking him to pressure Mexico to clarify which essential industries for the U.S. will be able to continue operating during the pandemic.

A group of U.S. senators, led by Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican John Cornyn, urged Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo to "coordinate with the Mexican government to clarify Mexico's definition of essential businesses to avoid disruptions in the U.S. supply chain".

According to the letter, the legislators are concerned that the supply chain integrated by both countries will be "disrupted" by the cancellation of activities due to the Covid-19, "unless the Mexican government clarifies its definition of 'essential businesses.'

"We particularly urge you to press your Mexican counterparts to incorporate industries providing components to the food, medical, transportation, infrastructure, aerospace, automotive, and defense sectors into their guidance," the letter explains.

The letter also suggests that a clear directive from the Mexican government to the industry would "improve the U.S. economy because our domestic companies would find it easier to secure alternate sources for their products.

" The U.S.-Mexico partnership is built on shared values and deep economic and cultural bonds," the letter says. "As demonstrated by the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement last year, our countries remain committed to securing mutual economic prosperity".

It is in that same spirit that the senators are asking the State Department to communicate with Mexico to protect the stability of the supply chain during the pandemic.

The senators' appeal comes two weeks after the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter to AMLO asking him to follow the U.S. CISA guide as a baseline, since the decree issued by the Health Department on March 31 put the region's critical infrastructure at risk. The Mexican business confederation Concamin echoed this request a few days later.

The Pentagon also made a statement through Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Support.

In Mexico, the lobbying has been driven by Ambassador Christopher Landau, who seeks to avoid affecting the operation of key companies such as Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and General Dynamics.

Concamin warned at the time that, beyond the risk of breaking supply chains, Mexico risks being replaced as a key U.S. supplier.

Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE), said that Mexico is not receiving any pressure from the United States to change the schedule for Coronavirus, despite the intense lobbying that industrialists from both countries are doing to reopen production chains.

He mentioned the senator's letter urging the Trump administration to coordinate with the Mexican government to define the industries that should be essential, and therefore operate in spite of the pandemic. A pressure that has been going on for weeks not only in the US, but also from the Mexican industry, claiming the level of penetration that both economies have in industries such as automotive.

But Ebrard said this morning, during the morning press conference, that this is a US domestic issue: "This is a letter from representatives addressed to their government. To this day it is not a bilateral issue. I do not expect it to be.

"Mexico has its own dynamics and is determined by the health council, by decisions of the president and proposals from the health sector. That will guide Mexico's course of action," said the Mexican foreign secretary.

When questioned, he assured that there was no pressure from the US government and added that there is no communication on this issue with Secretary of State Pompeo: "And I don't suppose there will be with respect to this letter, it is an internal matter for the United States".

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