Mexico Will Re-visit NAFTA If All Sides Benefit
Mexico is willing to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in a “Win-Win” situation, where the benefits are clear to all sides, said Mexican Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said Thursday.
Speaking at the Mexico Summit 2016 organized by The Economist, Mr. Guajardo said the landmark treaty with the US and Canada could be updated.
However, he warned it would have to contend with the entry of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), “which includes new chapters that did not exist 20 years ago.”
He added that these new chapters included topics such as e-Commerce and helping SMEs to enter value chains.
Mr. Guajardo said he believed NAFTA was still working well, making the re-opening of negotiations unnecessary.
“The way to open NAFTA would be through the TPP, meaning we would not renegotiate the trilateral treaty but complement it and make both treaties co-exist,” he noted.
“We approved the TPP. Any willingness or not (to update it) will depend on the capacity of President Obama to negotiate toward the end of his government. Finally, a willingness to modernize it…must also come from the exporters,” explained Mr. Guajardo.
At the same forum, US Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson explained that the bilateral relationship would survive political and economic difficulties.
Amb. Jacobson said the relationship between the countries of North America extended far beyond NAFTA and was complemented by other deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“When we see the 3 leaders meeting and committing to the North American projects, we can clearly see that many positive things are happening,” she emphasized.
Before an audience of entrepreneurs, academics and politicians, Amb Jacobson said the bi-lateral relationship “has become more mature and can survive…defensive comments made about Mexicans.”