NAFTA negotiations could mark end of era for Mexican exports

By , on August 11, 2017


President Donald J. Trump (Photo by DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr , Public Domain)
President Donald J. Trump (Photo by DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr , Public Domain)

MEXICO CITY — President Donald Trump’s push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement is putting Mexico in a tough spot, threatening the system that has helped turn the country into a top exporter through low wages, lax regulations and proximity to the United States.

With talks set to start Aug. 16, the Trump administration is targeting the massive U.S. trade deficit with its southern neighbour and the weakly enforced labour, environmental and manufacturing rules that for 23 years have drawn American assembly plants to Mexico and launched a flood of televisions and cars across the border.

“Mexico was resting on its merits and has been in a comfort zone, and now we have to leave it,” said Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo. “The alarm clock has rung for us to wake up.”