Mexico has postponed tariff reductions on 98 imported goods in the footwear, clothing and chemical products industries with a view to maintaining stability in those sectors and giving them time to become more competitive.

The Economy Secretariat published a decree Thursday in Mexico's Official Gazette that delays the implementation of the new tariff regime, which had been due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

A lower tariff of 20 percent on 94 clothing and footwear products will now come into effect in 2015, while a reduced tariff of 5 percent on imports of four chemical products will be implemented in 2017.

This measure seeks to "support the clothing and footwear sectors' transition toward innovation and the creation of products with greater added value, thereby promoting greater integration of fashion's productive chain," the decree said.

A flood of imported textile, clothing and footwear products, mainly from China, forced Mexican authorities to impose high tariffs to protect domestic manufacturers.

These industries are major job creators in some parts of Mexico and big exporters, and therefore an adjustment period is needed to transform these sectors and spur economic development, it added.

The decree also seeks to develop and attract investment in the chemical sector and is part of a series of actions aimed at supporting industries that are an engine of growth, create jobs, and promote innovation and technological development. EFE