MEXICO CITY, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Mexico will be renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) from a position of strength, the head of a United Nations agency said on Tuesday.
Alicia Barcena, the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), spoke of the upcoming talks between Mexico, Canada and the United States on the sidelines of a seminar in Mexico City.
When U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January, his protectionist policies sought to dismantle the three-way trade agreement, noted Barcena.
"Mexico succeeded in changing the conversation, because Trump did not want the accord. Mexico managed to maintain the deal and have it renegotiated," Barcena told reporters.
More than just a free-trade agreement, NAFTA transformed the three North American countries into a combined productive region, she said.
This regional integration will be key to Mexico's arguments at the talks, which starts Wednesday in U.S. capital of Washington DC.
As an example, she cited that many of Mexico's assembly plants along its northern border with the United States use U.S.-made parts to assemble cars and other products.
"There is really a very significant integration of value chains between the United States and Mexico, so that many of the products that Mexico exports have a high content of parts and pieces produced in the United States," said Barcena.
While Mexico's negotiating team needs to beware of U.S. attempts to introduce tariffs or other protectionist measures to goods under negotiation, its position is solid, she said.
"Mexico is going from a position of strength, even more so if it goes united with Canada," she said, adding the talks should benefit Mexico's work force.