Argentina, Mexico in preliminary deal to resume free car trade-AMIA

MEXICO CITY Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:04pm EST

MEXICO CITY Nov 14 (Reuters) - Mexican carmakers said on Wednesday they had reached a preliminary agreement with counterparts in Argentina to resume free trade in vehicles, but both urged their governments to begin a formal dialogue to settle remaining differences.

Mexican auto industry association AMIA said in a statement it had reached the agreement with Argentine auto manufacturers association ADEFA, but did not provide details.

"AMIA and ADEFA have agreed to immediately send to our respective governments the agreement we've reached asking that they initiate a formal dialogue within the framework of (ACE-55) based on this proposal," the statement said.

Mexican government officials were not immediately available for comment.

In June, Argentina announced a three-year suspension of its auto trade agreement, known as ACE-55, that allowed the free exchange of vehicles between both countries. Buenos Aires then established a tariff of 35 percent on Mexican vehicles.

In turn, Mexico responded by ending import duty preferences on vehicles shipped from Argentina, adding more fuel to the bilateral trade dispute.

The ACE-55 pact, launched in 2003, regulates auto trade between Mexico and the Mercosur block of countries, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and permits a flexible trade regime through bilateral agreements.

Argentina said in March it planned to seek more favorable terms in the pact, aiming to follow Brazil, which won concessions limiting the number of Mexican auto exports to that country.

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