Economy Secretary will keep Senate updated on NAFTA

The Senate will be provided with timely information, but Mexico will not disclose its strategy yet
Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, appeared before the Commission of Foreign Affairs of the Mexican Senate, presided by PAN legislator Gabriela Cuevas - EFE
Carina García, Ivette Saldaña y Suzzete Alcántara
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One week before the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks begin, the Mexican Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, has said he will provide the Mexican Senate with timely information on the process.

However, he established Mexico will not disclose its strategy, to prevent obstructions from American firms which could feel threatened.

After the senators asked to be included in the topic and know in detail the conversations from an “adjacent table,” the Secretary spoke before the Commission of Foreign Affairs to announce Mexico is ready to begin the talks.

The senators and the Secretary talked almost two hours about the renegotiation details, ahead of August 16, when the talks are scheduled to begin.

He confirmed that while the objective is to be through by 2018, Mexico “will not give in due to haste.”

The president of the commission, National Action Party (PAN) member Gabriela Cuevas, received Guajardo and requested information on the negotiation goals, balance, expectations and current status of Mexico before the talks.

Guajardo said, “we will be timely, transparent and we will keep everyone informed, the Senate above all.”

He mentioned there is some concern regarding the “extreme fixation on the concept of trade deficit,” but what Mexico will seek is to achieve a “trade balance, through commerce expansion, not restrictions”

Regarding Chapter 19 on dispute resolution, the Secretary asked for caution, considering this topic may allow three countries not to be treated like the rest of the world.

“Attempting to use instruments which have already been discouraged in North America could be like opening Pandora's Box again. And the most affected wouldn't necessary be the Mexican exporters, rather the American ones,” he claimed.

The Secretary also reminded the Senate that the cooperation of the private sector is necessary.

“I've told entrepreneurs, especially farmers, that if we want a good negotiation with the North, we have to be open to alternatives from the South. Otherwise, my position will lose credibility at the negotiating table.”

He asked to be “as ambitious as possible” regarding the search of new markets and the consideration of all trades.

The topic is important, he said, considering there is some resistance from the Mexican private sector. “I need to have an immediate action platform with Brazil, with Argentina, who have restricted us the automotive sector due to a matter of tariffs, and where we have practically neutralized them as suppliers of grains and oilseeds.”

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he said the remaining 11 countries will meet on November 11 to find a way to sustain it given current circumstances.


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