Videgaray: don't panic. Videgaray: don't panic.

Trump’s NAFTA talk is ‘negotiating strategy’

No need to panic over US president's pessimism, says foreign secretary

Expressions of pessimism over trade talks by United States President Donald Trump yesterday were simply “negotiating strategy” and Mexicans needn’t panic over it, the foreign affairs secretary said.

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Luis Videgaray was responding to Trump’s warning at a rally in Arizona that he didn’t think it would be possible to conclude an agreement during negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which began a week ago.

Trump said “we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point” and “personally, I don’t think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of.”

But he did offer the caution that he had not yet made up his mind about an accord that he has described in the past as the “worst” trade deal in history.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer pointed out after that the U.S. was seeking “substantial changes to address its fundamental failures,” and that Trump had made it clear from the outset that the U.S. would withdraw from NAFTA if the renegotiation was unsuccessful.

In a television interview, the Mexican foreign affairs secretary said Trump was “negotiating in his own particular style.”

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Videgaray said on Twitter the president’s remarks were not a surprise, and that Mexico would continue negotiating “calmly, firmly and with the national interest in front.”

In an interview this morning he said Trump negotiates with a peculiar strategy but there was no cause for alarm.

Mexico, he said, was proceeding “with a cool head. We have to learn to react and not overreact to this kind of declaration.”

Videgaray predicted a long and complex negotiation — and more declarations by the U.S. president.

“. . . I’m certain that we shall have more moments such as this and we must be prepared because along the way there will be discourse, Tweets, declarations of this nature to which we must react with calm.”

The NAFTA talks are to resume September 1 in Mexico City.

Source: El Financiero (sp), Publimetro (sp), Reuters (en)

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  • DeplorableVI

    It’s time to end NAFTA and have separate trade deals with all our neighbors including Cuba, Russia, Bahamas and Bermuda. There’s no reason not to include them.

    • Happy Girl

      When did Russia become our neighbour?

      • DeplorableVI

        The day they sold Alaska to the United States. Alaska is our largest, least populated state teaming with valuable natural resources such as fish sticks and snowballs. The Great Alaskan Pipeline cost more to build than it cost to buy the entire landmass. Russia took a beating selling us that treasure trove and oddly enough they never complain or demand we give it back, the way Mexico demands we give them back Texas. I’m sorry to know that a fellow American has such a weak knowledge of our geography and where on planet earth we are. Please put down your device and read a good atlas. You’ll be amazed. Maybe.

        • drg68

          It was called Seward’s Folly and at the time Russia thought they had the better end of the deal. The difference here is that Russia sold Alaska to the US. Texas (and the rest of the SouthWest) was lost in wars.

      • Don Neilson

        At 60 miles across the Bering Straights, Russia has always been our neighbor.

    • drg68

      Why end a trade agreement that has benefited all three nations in North America? The narrative being pushed is a UAW/Rust Belt fantasy that ignores the huge role that automation has had in cutting the number of manufacturing jobs. Nor does it address the number of jobs that have been created or are linked to exports to Canada and México. Getting rid of NAFTA isn’t going to bring any jobs back. In fact, according to the automotive industry, it will likely cost jobs. Separate deals aren’t automatically better. In fact, they have the potential to make things more complicated for exporters.

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