Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs keen to start NAFTA talks in U.S.

By Elliot Bullman

Mexico is looking forward to starting talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement now that U.S. President Donald Trump's pick for trade representative has been approved, Mexico's chancellor said on Friday.

videgarayOriginal image: “Mexican Finance Secretary Visits the OAS”, by OEA - OAS, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr.

Videgaray said Mexico's finance, economy and interior ministers will make the trip to the U.S. capital, just days after the U.S. Senate confirmed Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative, bringing the negotiations a step closer.

Months of uncertainty about the fate of NAFTA, which has underpinned regional trade since 1994, has affected growth forecasts in Mexico, shaken the peso and curbed investments.

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Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he thought talks would probably start toward the end of August. Guajardo said all three countries must recognize NAFTA's positive contributions before starting.

In a sign of the friction in the U.S.-Mexico's relationship since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, the minister added that Mexico wanted to deepen and grow its ties to China and that a series of meetings with Chinese officials have been planned to that end through this year.

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