Mexico must leave its int'l trade comfort zone, says minister

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-27 05:29:36|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MEXICO CITY, July 26 (Xinhua)-- The Mexican Economy Minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, said on Wednesday that, after 22 years of being part of NAFTA, Mexico has been living in an international trade comfort zone which it must now leave.

"We must focus on two things. The first is our NAFTA renegotiation strategy, how to achieve a better treaty. And the second and most important is that we have been living in an international trade comfort zone for 22 years. We can say we have been resting on our laurels," said the minister during a celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of ProMexico, the country's trade promotion office.

Guajardo's declarations came mere weeks before the NAFTA talks begin on August 16 between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

For the minister, Mexico must diversify its trade ties so that its economy is not put at risk by elections in the U.S.

He said that Mexico's commercial openness had brought it investments worth over 144 billion U.S. dollars but that further diversification was needed to help the country achieve balanced growth, especially in the poor southeast.

In turn, the president of the Mexican Business Council on Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology, said that Mexico must make full use of the free-trade agreements it has with 46 countries.

Diez is part of a team of specialists and business professionals, helping to prepare the Mexican government agenda ahead of NAFTA talks.

Diez also spoke of the need to preserve NAFTA's Chapter 19, which the U.S. wants to eliminate.

Chapter 19 establishes an alternate mechanism to resolve trade disputes through independent arbitration panels, instead of being submitted to national courts.

Canada has also spoken publicly of the need to preserve Chapter 19, while Diez said that eliminating it would mean that disputes on matters such as antidumping or undervaluation of goods would be resolved according to American laws.