NAFTA will not be negotiated under pressure, Mexican government says

The president’s spokesman responded to the USA’s initiative to impose tariffs on foreign auto imports
NAFTA will not be negotiated under pressure, Mexican government says
The flags of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are seen on a lectern at the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City - Edgardo Garrido/REUTERS
26/05/2018
17:18
Mexico City
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The Mexican government will not be willing to negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under pressure, said Eduardo Sánchez, Mexico’s presidential spokesman.

“I want to make this clear: Mexico will not negotiate under any kind of pressure. We have a perfect understanding of what is convenient for us and what isn’t. We will not rush into an agreement unless it truly benefits our country, and if we cannot reach that sort of agreement, we won’t be able to move forward,” he stressed.

The politician’s comments came a day after the government of the United States stated that they intended to start an investigation on the import of cars, trucks, and vans for National security matters, in which they would contemplate introducing tariffs of up to 25% on foreign auto imports, which may be imposed on both Mexico and Canada.

At a press conference about the progress of Special Development Zones, Eduardo Sánchez denied that there were any differences between the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray, concerning the way NAFTA was to be negotiated.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said to Reuters that the United States was trying to put pressure on its commercial partners to give in to their renegotiation.

USA’s resolve was not to the liking of the President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue Sr, who expressed to be “firmly against” the threats of the Trump administration, because it would “deal a staggering blow to the very industry it purports to protect and would threaten to ignite a global trade war.” He added that the investigation’s true objective is to threaten trade negotiations.

However, the US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said to the CNBC that, although the auto trade is usually unrelated to national security, it does play an important part: “Economic security is military security. And without economic security, you can’t have military security.”

Ignacio Martínez, the coordinator of the Analysis, Commerce, Economy, and Business Laboratory of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) expressed that, with the renegotiation of NAFTA, “Mexico is gambling its future. National sovereignty will dictate whether we may or not settle for a 70% or 75% of one of our most important business outlets; the automotive industry.”

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