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Mexico, U.S. Have Different Goals for North American Free Trade Agreement

ISSN:1054-8890
LADB Article ID: 80383
Category/Department: Mexiico
Date: 2017-08-23
By: Carlos Navarro

Mexico, Canada, and the US have launched the first round of negotiations on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but wide differences in a variety of areas could make for difficult talks in the weeks and months ahead. The three countries put a positive spin in a joint statement on Aug. 20, at the end of the first of many rounds of talks. While the positions of Mexico and Canada might be similar, the two countries have huge differences with the US. In a joint press conference, Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland stated their desire to tweak certain aspects of the agreement to benefit all three countries. NAFTA has greatly helped to boost trade in the region, with the value of commercial exchanges among the three countries reaching US$1 trillion in 2015. In contrast, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer mentioned a much different objective in his comments to reporters. Repeating some of the pledges that US President Donald Trump made during his campaign and during his first months in office, Lighthizer emphasized that the US would seek a major overhaul of the agreement.

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