TORONTO – Washington must acknowledge that the United States has profited from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Donald Trump blames for massive losses of American manufacturing jobs, before Mexico will agree to renegotiate the pact, Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said on Tuesday.
Guajardo, who is in Toronto for a conference on the future of relations in North America along with Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray, said that without such an acknowledgment by the US government, talks on revising NAFTA would get off to a bad start.
The Mexican economy secretary said he did not expect talks on renegotiating NAFTA to begin “before the summer.”
Guajardo admitted that the negotiations would “not be easy” and would definitely not include quotas or tariffs.
Trump threatened during the campaign to walk away from NAFTA, saying it was a destroyer of American jobs and benefited Mexico, although he later said he would seek to renegotiate the trade agreement.
NAFTA, whose members are the US, Mexico and Canada, took effect on Jan. 1, 1994.