These are Mexico's priorities in the renegotiation of NAFTA

By Elliot Bullman

Among them is the controversial Chapter 19 that Trump wants to eliminate.

With two weeks remaining until the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico has defined the issues it wishes to address to the administration of Donald Trump and the Canadian government.

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The Mexican government will call for trade openness between the three trade partners, but it will also suggest that the United States and Canada will discuss labour systems and anti-corruption measures, according to an official document quoted by El Financiero.

In the document "Priorities of Mexico in the Negotiations for the Modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement", the Mexican government explains its intention to analyse these issues with the administration of President Trump.

The labour rights of migrant workers were an issue that the Donald Trump administration left out of the document on US goals in the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Social organizations such as the Centre for Migrant Rights had warned that leaving the renegotiation outside the labour issue violated the rights of migrants in the United States.

Now, the Mexican government will promote this issue in renegotiation. "(We will focus on) strengthening compliance with national provisions and international commitments in labour matters," says the document quoted by El Financiero.

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In addition to the labour system, Mexico will seek to establish measures against acts of corruption that may affect trade and investment, and the intention to defend the impartial system of dispute settlement stipulated in Chapter 19 of NAFTA.

In the document of the intentions of the Trump government in the renegotiation of the NAFTA, it was proposed to eliminate that chapter, which establishes a mechanism for the settlement of disputes regarding antidumping and countervailing duties.

The elimination of this chapter was also controversial for Canadians. The Government of Canada feigned to quit NAFTA if it was eliminated, according to information published by the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

"The dispute settlement mechanisms that have proven their effectiveness as a tool to make regional trade more predictable have played a crucial role," says the document.

Although the Mexican government left open the possibility of modernizing these mechanisms.

Mexico, the United States and Canada will hold the first round of negotiations for the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement from 16 to 20 August 2017 in Washington.

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