Nafta: Mexico and Canada are promoting a trilateral agreement with the United States

The foreign Trade minister of canada asked by chrystia Freeland and his mexican counterpart, Luis Videgaray in Mexico city, on July 25, 2018 (Photo by Ronaldo SCHEMIDT. AFP)

Mexico and Canada have reaffirmed on Wednesday their commitment to achieving a free trade agreement trilateral with the United States, in spite of the threats from Donald Trump to opt for bilateral agreements.

“Canada strongly believes in the Nafta (free trade agreement north american) as a trilateral agreement,” stressed the minister of foreign Affairs canada asked by chrystia Freeland during an official visit to Mexico city.

Freeland and his mexican counterpart, Luis Videgaray, the mexican minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, have shown their optimism as to the possibility of soon lead the discussions, nearly a year after the start of negotiations.

“We have made significant progress, and Canada believes that a modernization of the Nafta ‘win-win-win’ is quite within our reach, we are working hard for this,” said Freeland, who is leading negotiations for his country.

Mr. Guajardo, the head of the team of negotiators in mexico, has indicated that “almost two thirds” of the agreement were already defined.

Guajardo and Videgaray will travel Thursday to Washington to resume discussions with u.s. officials. Members of the team of the president-elect of the mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will also be present as observers.

Ms. Freeland must meet in the day Mr Lopez Obrador as well as the outgoing president Enrique Pena Nieto.

Nafta, which entered into force in 1994, has played an important role for the regional economic integration but is regularly targeted by Donald Trump, who called it “a disaster” for american jobs.

The us president has pressed Mexico to bring to a conclusion “quickly” the negotiations, in a letter addressed to the president-elect of mexico and revealed on Tuesday, threatening to default borrow “a road very different.”

“This would not be my preference, but it would be much more profitable in the United States and its taxpayers,” he wrote.

According to the mexican government, an agreement on the modernisation of the Nafta may be found toward the end of August.

The negotiations between the three countries, which started in August 2017, face on american demands to renegotiate every five years the agreement and to increase the share of automotive parts manufactured in the United States to waive customs duties for the vehicles assembled at its partners.

The Nafta is of vital importance to the mexican economy, which exports nearly 80% of its products to its neighbor to the North.

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