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04/09/2017

Mexico and Canada dismiss Trump threats to scrap NAFTA trade pact

Mexico and Canada dismissed Donald Trump’s latest threat to scrap NAFTA, describing it as a negotiating tactic aimed at winning the upper hand in talks to update one of the world’s biggest trading blocs.

Customs sign at the Mexican-U.S. border.

At a campaign-style rally in Arizona on Tuesday night, Trump cast doubt on any deal to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement and said “we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point.”

Initial talks between Mexico, the United States and Canada to update NAFTA ended in Washington over the weekend amid signs of deep division on key issues. Further discussions are due to start in Mexico City on Sept. 1.

Trump has long called the 1994 treaty a bad deal that hurt American workers, saying it should be renegotiated or ended.

Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray announces the dual year 2017-2018 between Mexico and Colombia, during a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico July 18, 2017. 

Trump’s comments initially pushed Mexico’s peso currency down more than 1 percent but it later recovered its losses. The peso has been sensitive to Trump’s anti-NAFTA rhetoric, touching record lows shortly after his election in November 2016 on fears that he would raise tariffs on Mexican goods.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray sought to brush off Trump’s threat, saying the comments would not scare Mexico in the negotiations.

“He’s negotiating in his own particular style,” he told Mexican television.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo added in a statement that Mexico has a “Plan B very clearly defined” in case NAFTA talks fail, but declined to provide details.

Author: Gabriel Stargardter & David Ljunggren
This article is incomplete. Click here to read the full text from its original source, Reuters
Photo Credit: His Noodly Appendage (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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