Mexico & U.S. Continue Longstanding Trade Disputes on Telecommunications, Sweeteners, Trucks & Avocados

SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico, February 20, 2002 | Go to article overview

Mexico & U.S. Continue Longstanding Trade Disputes on Telecommunications, Sweeteners, Trucks & Avocados


Mexico and the US continue to be embroiled in trade disputes regarding telecommunications, sweeteners, trucks, and avocados even as President Vicente Fox is seeking to expand the relationship between the two countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Fox is pushing to expand the accord to cover immigration issues, including the possibility of amnesty for undocumented immigrants and the creation of a guest-worker program in the US.

Fox and US President George W. Bush are expected to address the immigration question, along with energy integration, infrastructure development, and other US-Mexico border issues at the UN International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey in late March.

Fox told reporters he wants to expand the accord into a "NAFTA-plus" that will promote greater integration between the US and Mexican economies, focusing primarily on development in the states along the US-Mexico border.

But expansion of US-Mexico relations remains hampered by several disputes that have dogged the two countries since NAFTA's inception. The two sides are unable to agree on appropriate access for telecommunications, trucks, and agricultural products such as sweeteners and avocados.

US files telephone complaint against Mexico at WTO

In telecommunications, the US government continues to criticize Mexico for unfairly blocking access to US telephone companies, which has resulted in higher long-distance telephone charges for US callers.

In a complaint filed before the World Trade Organization (WTO) in mid-February, US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said Mexico's telecommunications policy continues to favor the giant telephone company TELMEX, which charges competitors excessive interconnection fees for long-distance calls. TELMEX, one of the largest publicly traded companies in Latin America in the value of its shares, reported US$12 billion in sales in 2001.

"Mexico's international telecommunications market remains dominated by a single company with a government mandate to set high wholesale prices for calls to Mexico and prevent competitive alternatives," said Zoellick, who requested a WTO dispute-resolution panel.

US officials expect the request for the panel to be addressed at the WTO meeting in Geneva in April.

The decision to request the panel resurrects an action threatened by the administration of former US President Bill Clinton. The Clinton administration had taken preliminary steps to seek a WTO panel in 2000 but later withdrew the request after Mexico's telecommunications regulator (Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones, COFETEL) adopted new rules to boost competition (see SourceMex, 2000-09-20, 2001-01-10).

But TELMEX's chief competitors Avantel and Alestra, affiliates of US companies MCI WorldCom and AT&T, complained that COFETEL's directives were not sufficient to promote competition. At issue is the interconnection rate charged by TELMEX to Avantel, Alestra, and other competitors. TELMEX lowered that rate to US$0.13 per minute this year and plans to cut it to US$0.10 in 2003. The rate was US$0.15 in 2001.

AT&T executives claim that even the lower US$0.10 per minute rate is still above rates charged in other countries for interconnection. AT&T's general counsel Jim Cicconi welcomed the USTR decision to press the case at the WTO. "[Mexico has] been ignoring its WTO telecommunications commitments and hoping its trading partners would go away," said Cicconi.

COFETEL director Jorge Arredondo Martinez said his agency is open to the creation of a WTO dispute-resolution panel. "We could clear up the USTR's concerns once and for all," said Arredondo, appointed to the post in November 2001. The COFETEL director is familiar with the issue because of his previous role as director of regulatory issues for Mexican telephone company Axtel, which also competed with TELMEX for long-distance and domestic customers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mexico & U.S. Continue Longstanding Trade Disputes on Telecommunications, Sweeteners, Trucks & Avocados
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.