Mexico has implemented a temporary exception to the rules of origin for textiles and apparel in its free trade agreement with Colombia.

The decision, adopted on 3 August and applied from 4 September, grants a temporary exemption whereby Mexico affords preferential duty treatment to imports of textile and apparel goods wholly made in Colombia from certain non-originating fibres and yarns.

The agreement applies to certain knit and woven apparel made with certain non-originating cotton yarn and synthetic filament yarn, subject to specific limits.

Mexico is currently in negotiations with the US over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Late last month, the two countries reached a preliminary agreement regarding a new trade accord that could replace NAFTA, including stronger textile provisions than the original trade pact, and are designed to incentivise greater US and Mexican production in textiles and apparel trade.

The three countries have been working to renegotiate and modernise NAFTA since last summer. However, after nearly a year of unproductive talks, the US and Mexico began negotiating one-on-one in July.

With pressure on Canada to work out its own deal, calls are now mounting for any new trade pact that replaces NAFTA to be trilateral, involving the three current partners: the US, Canada and Mexico.

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