U.S. Calls On WTO To Fix Mexican Telecommunications

By John S. McClenahen Weeks before Mexico inaugurates a new president, Vicente Fox Quesada, the U.S. is increasing international pressure on its NAFTA partner, contending Mexico has failed to live up to its telecommunications commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Among other items, the U.S. alleges that the Mexican government "appears reluctant" to enforce new rules designed to curb alleged anticompetitive practices of Telmex, Mexico's major telecommunications supplier. The U.S. also is charging the Mexican government with failing to see that Telmex provides local service competitors with "timely, nondiscriminatory" interconnection to its network. Continuing a formal trade dispute resolution process that it began this past August, the U.S. is now asking the WTO take the next step and create a dispute settlement panel. "We have repeatedly urged the Government of Mexico to comply with its WTO commitments," says Charlene Barshefsky, the U.S. Trade Representative. "While some progress has been made, Mexico's failure to take additional actions has left us no choice but to request a WTO panel."

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