Trudeau Heads To Mexico With NAFTA’s Days Possibly Numbered

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is shown at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 10, 2017.

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving one country whose political leaders are mixed about saving NAFTA and is on his way to another where officials are uneasy about the fate of the trade deal.

Trudeau goes to Mexico today in the aftermath of a day’s worth of meetings in Washington, D.C., largely focused on saving the trilateral trade pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump said ahead of meetings with Trudeau that it would be fine if the North American Free Trade Agreement was just terminated, though members of Congress expressed hope earlier in the day it could be reworked.

A similar tension appears to exist in Mexico, where President Enrique Pena Nieto has pledged to defend the deal, but some of his senior leadership appear to be laying groundwork for it to fail.

The country’s foreign relations secretary said this week it would not be a big deal for Mexico to just walk away from the talks, and that Mexico won’t accept “limited, managed trade,” an apparent reference to demands for higher U.S. and regional content rules on products like auto parts.

Meanwhile, a veteran Mexican diplomat has expressed fears about the possibility that NAFTA could be ditched in favour of bilateral agreements, an issue raised by Trump as well.

“Some of us in Mexico think that on several occasions our Canadian friends have come close to throwing us under the bus,” said Arturo Sarukhan, the former Mexican ambassador to the U.S., said at a NAFTA-related event hosted by Dentons law firm in D.C. on Wednesday.

“How do we Mexicans ensure (our) Canadian friends stay focused on a trilateral approach?”

Trudeau was asked whether a bilateral deal with Mexico could be in the cards should the trilateral talks fail.

He said he knows there are other paths that could be pursued, and they’ll be followed if necessary.

For now, …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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