Is US travel warning linked to NAFTA talks?

By Elliot Bullman

Tourism secretary wonders if it's intended to apply pressure on Mexico

Is the United States’ new travel warning about Mexico — in which some popular tourist destinations have shown up for the first time — linked to therenegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement?

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The federal tourism secretary said he could not rule outthe possibility that theupdated travel alertwas designed to pressure Mexico in the lead-up to the next round of NAFTA talks.

Enrique de la Madrid voiced his concern over the new advisory given that visitors from the United States make up almost 60% of airline arrivals.

De la Madrid stated that the Mexican government is focused on combating insecurity at the country’s tourist destinations, and sees the U.S. warning as extra incentive to improve.

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He also said that uncertainty about policy positions that may be adopted by President Donald Trump make Mexico susceptible to a downturn in tourism and consequently Mexico should seek to attract visitors from farther afield.

But U.S. visitor numbers continue to grow. He said in another interview that the numbers were up in the first half of the year despite what he described as an adverse climate generated by the tone of Trump’s statements.

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After United States President Donald Trump said “we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point” and “personally, I don’t think we can make a deal . . .” at a rally in Arizona last Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray called Trump’s expressions of pessimism a “negotiating strategy.”

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