Mexico backs request by auto firms for more time to meet USMCA rules

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s government said on Friday it has approved a request by 12 automotive companies for additional time to meet new regional content requirements under the North American trade agreement that came into force in July.

The economy ministry said in a statement that under the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA), companies could request a so-called alternative transition regime to comply with the higher content requirements under the trade deal.

The request was granted for Tesla, Inc, Volkswagen de Mexico, Volvo Car USA, FCA Mexico, Hyundai Motor America, Mazda Motor de Mexico, Toyota Motor de Mexico, Kia Motors Mexico, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Nissan Mexicana, Ford Motor Co and Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes, it said.

For tariff-free trade in light vehicles, the agreement requires 75% North American content compared with a 62.5% threshold under its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Will Dunham