- Title: Mexican business leaders discuss Trump, trade
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: SAN JOSE CHAPA, PUEBLA, MEXICO (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES WORKING IN CAR PLANT CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO (FILE) (REUTERS) MEXICAN AND US FLAGS CROSSING AT BORDER MEXICAN COAT OF ARMS ON BUILDING TRUCK NEAR BORDER SIGN POINTING TO TRUCK INSPECTION POINT TRUCK NEAR CROSSING CHECKPOINT AREA NEAR BORDER TRUCK NEAR BORDER
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 00:27
- Keywords: NAFTA free trade Donald Trump
- Location: MEXICO CITY AND SAN JOSE CHAPA, PUEBLA AND CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
- City: MEXICO CITY AND SAN JOSE CHAPA, PUEBLA AND CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00258TZCQR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mexican business leaders told media on Wednesday (November 16) that the Latin American country should not fear renegotiations with president-elect Donald Trump for a new NAFTA agreement.
Mexico is on tenderhooks awaiting the accession of Trump to the U.S. presidency because of his repeated threats on the campaign trail to impose tariffs on Mexican-made goods and seal the country off behind a massive border wall.
Claiming Mexico is "killing" the United States on trade, Trump has threatened to disrupt bilateral commerce worth some $500 billion a year, and promises to deport millions of undocumented migrants from Mexico and Central America.
But Executive Direction of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Fernando Ruiz, said renegotiations could be a chance for the North American region to become more competitive.
"The modernisation of the free trade agreement with the United States should not scare (us). We should see it as an opportunity where the three countries will be more competitive by the day in comparison to other regions because the competition is not between us but between regions," he said.
Mindful of the fact that Mexico sends four-fifths of its exports to the United States, President Enrique Pena Nieto's government has been deeply concerned by the protectionist rhetoric that emanated from the U.S. presidential campaign.
It has also motioned that it will move ahead with the non-YS trans-Pacific trade deal as a means to diversify its export base.
For Mexico's business leaders, the key is keeping up competition with the United States and Canada to secure employment in the three nations.
"Because the president-elect has important work to do which is to secure a competitive United States so as to be able to secure employment in that country. Employment will be secure with a region that is strong, where Mexico is part of this equation," said President of the Mexican Automobile Industry, Eduardo Solis.
Business leaders on both sides of the border argue that the NAFTA agreement has been beneficial to both countries. Mexico is currently the United States' third largest goods trading partner with more than half a billion dollars worth of goods traded during 2015 alone.
And according to the U.S.-based Wilson Centre, six million US jobs depends on trade with Mexico.
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