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Mexico warns US about ending Nafta trade deal

Truck at the US-Mexico border (file pictureImage copyright AFP
Image caption Nafta has led to a huge increase in trade between the US, Mexico and Canada

Ending the North American Trade Agreement (Nafta) would break relations between Mexico and the US, the Mexican foreign minister has warned.

Luis Videgaray was speaking ahead of a new round of trade talks this week between the US, Mexico and Canada.

The talks to update the 1994 deal have become increasingly acrimonious, with Mexico and American business groups saying US proposals would hurt trade.

This week, President Donald Trump repeated threats to scrap the deal.

He has pointed to the trade deficit with Mexico as unfair to the US. His administration has said it was seeking to reduce it and called for a major overhaul of the agreement.

The head of the US Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donahue, warned that scrapping the deal would endanger $ 1tr in annual trade.

Mr Videgaray said Mexico was preparing for “different scenarios” the talks might produce and would not remain within the agreement if it was not good for his country.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Luis Videgaray says his priority is to defend Mexico’s interests

He warned that ending the regional trade pact would hurt relations between the US and Mexico and damage their co-operation on other issues such as fighting drug-trafficking and stopping illegal immigration across the US’s southern border.

What’s at stake with the Nafta talks?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meeting Mr Trump on Wednesday and their discussions are expected to focus on Nafta. The US has recently slapped duties on Canadian Bombardier airliners and wood exports.

Mr Trudeau then flies to Mexico for discussions with President, Enrique Pena Nieto.

BBC News – US & Canada

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