Mexico faces NAFTA round without ministers and preceded by new threats

He plays at home, but Mexico does not seem to have it easy to achieve advances that benefit him in this fifth round of NAFTA negotiations that begins today in Mexico City with a US. challenging and in which the ministers will not participate.

Mexico, Nov 17 (EFE) .- Play at home, but Mexico does not seem to have it easy to achieve progress that will benefit you in this fifth round of NAFTA negotiations that begins today in the City of Mexico with a USA 1994 between Mexico, the United States and Canada, does not seem to get away much from previous meetings.

As reported by the Ministry of Economy of Mexico, will seek to advance the proposals already submitted by the three partners.

For the first time, ministers will not participate, a fact they attribute to a joint agreement so that negotiators who can " Continue advancing in the key chapters "addressed at the previous meeting in Washington.

There will be 30 technical groups that will analyze" proposals submitted "in advance and will notify their respective governments.

On paper there seem to be many alterations. hard.

In the absence of progress, it was decided to extend the period between rounds, extending the foreseeable closing of negotiations to March 2018.

Just this week, the secretary of United States Trade, Wilbur Ross, warned that the breakdown of NAFTA would be especially "devastating" for Mexico and asked that the Latin American country and Canada "come to their senses" and accept a new pact.

The end of NAFTA "would be much more damaging to them than to us," he said harshly.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo responded a day later, remembering that many areas of the United States, with strong commercial relations with Mexico, would be affected by an eventual cancellation of the treaty.

As in other On occasions, he opted for a win-win-win that would benefit the three nations, but it was also clear: "Nobody in their right mind can rule out the possibility of a disagreement and, therefore, we have to be ready for all scenarios. "

The president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Juan Pablo Castañón, told Efe that the employers expect progress in" issues "previously discussed and the closing of important chapters such as financial services, energy or electronic commerce.

But the president of this organization, which is part of the so-called "quarter of together", which accompanies the Mexican negotiating team, acknowledged that there are issues where it seems that "there is no room for maneuver."

These are in the plane automotive, textile, agricultural and dispute resolution, where there are "impassable" requests, said the employer leader.

United States demands to increase the quota of manufactured products in the country, especially in the automotive sector, a key element of the commercial pact.

It is also committed to implementing the "sunset" clause, which would oblige to review this treaty in force since 1994 every five years and would cause it to be suspended if any of its three members did not agree to extend it.

In principle, the negotiations will be extended until March 2018, months before the presidential elections in Mexico next July.

This adds pressure to counterparts, especially Mexico, which can change the political direction in the next elections.

"I believe that we must continue to see the basis of the negotiation and we will see if it can be resolved before March, as the negotiators have proposed. very premature to advance, "said Castañón.

Meanwhile, the Mexican business and commercial sector, very dependent on exports to the US, remains in suspense.

In addition, the uncertainty continues to affect the peso, which takes weeks at 19 units per dollar and swings to the rhythm of cross statements.

If this Wednesday it depreciated 0.94% until closing at 19.33 pesos per dollar in the interbank, on Thursday rose 1.35% to 19.07.