Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray has warned that bilateral cooperation in a variety of spheres could be seriously affected if the United States decides to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).
U.S. President Donald Trump’s confrontational negotiating style was once again evident this week during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, ahead of the fourth round of Nafta talks in Mexico City.
“If we can’t make a deal, it will be terminated and that will be fine,” Trump said, bringing up the possibility that the United States and Canada could then sign a separate treaty without Mexico.
Although trade representatives from all three nations have tried to put a positive spin on talks thus far, saying progress has been made in several areas, Videgaray this week said Mexico needs to “be prepared for the worst,” while stressing that leaving the treaty “would not be the end of the world.”
Without going into specific detail about collaborations that could be affected by a U.S. pull out, Videgaray hinted that joint narcotics fighting operations and policy to stem illegal immigration at the country’s southern border could be revisited.
While the Mexican and Canadian governments are in agreement that 23-year-old trade treaty needs to be updated for the “modern era,” neither are keen to see protectionist provisions written into the deal just to allow Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to reduce the United States’ trade deficit with its neighbors.