Mexico confident of NAFTA talks despite U.S. threats of withdrawing

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-24 04:43:39|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MEXICO CITY, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Mexico on Wednesday said it was confident the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will continue as planned, despite U.S. threats of withdrawing from the deal.

Mexico's Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade downplayed statements made by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying the U.S. will quit the trade agreement, if talks don't go his way.

Trump's statements "are no more than a sign that they too ... are immersed in a process of negotiation," Meade said in an interview with radio stations.

Mexico's Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Videgaray agreed, dismissing the threat as a negotiating tactic and as typical Trump bluster.

"The United States is negotiating and doing so in a very clear way. (Trump) is a very big guy who is negotiating," Videgaray told the radio news outlets.

At a political rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Trump told his supporters he doubted a deal was possible.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal. I think we'll probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point," said Trump.

Indicating the existing agreement should be dissolved, so a new one could take its place, he added, "I personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination."

During his campaign, Trump promised to bring back jobs and industry to the United States by renegotiating the two-decade accord with Mexico and Canada.

The first round of negotiation took place last week in Washington, and Mexico is to host the second round in September.

"The threat is not surprising. He is talking to the people from his campaign ... you realize he is negotiating," said Videgaray.