Mexico Seeks Trump Talks to Modernize Nafta, Pena Nieto Says

Mexico is willing to hold talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Enrique Pena Nieto said.

Mexico will seek dialogue with the U.S. on its trade relationship following comments made by Trump during his campaign, Pena Nieto said. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima on Saturday, he defended the deal, saying that for every dollar that Mexico exports, North American materials account for 40 cents. Globalization generates more benefits than harm, he said.

“We’re at the stage of prioritizing dialogue as the path through which we may able to establish a new agenda for bilateral relations,” Pena Nieto said. “More than talking about renegotiating Nafta, it’s modernizing Nafta. Let’s modernize Nafta so it becomes a more powerful, modern vehicle.”

The bill to establish the trade deal with Mexico and Canada was approved by the U.S. Senate in 1993 in a bipartisan vote, and signed by then-President Bill Clinton. It went into effect in 1994.

Trump frequently criticized Nafta during the election, describing it as the worst deal ever and blaming it for U.S. job losses. The Mexican peso dropped as much as 12 percent to record levels following Trump’s election. Trump said during the campaign he will seek to renegotiate or scrap Nafta, boost tariffs, and build a wall along that U.S.-Mexico border that Mexico would be forced to pay for.

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