Panam Post | 13 October 2017
Fearing an end to NAFTA, Mexico looks to Middle East for new trade partners
by KARINA MARTÍN
Jose Antonio Meade, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) of Mexico, said that the country will seek to diversify its trade relations with other countries and use the rules of the World Trade Organization.
Trade agreements with the Middle East and Turkey will be a priority, Meade said, and added that a treaty would be updated with Europe as well. Meade explained that diversifying trade access with other parts of the world is one of the main challenges the country currently faces, especially as the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) looks uncertain.
“The Mexican economy is now subject to a process of uncertainty coming from outside the country like never before, and puts us in a very difficult situation as far as integrating into the North American economy,” he said. “This uncertainty looms over the decisions that we make, and creates a lot of pressure to justify a decision.”
According to Meade, “one of every five pesos that Mexico exports is done outside the North American region, so if there is a first cut, the maximum impact would be on the 80 percent that we export to the United States, and 45 percent of what we import would also be impacted.”
Meade also said that, should the United States end NAFTA, officials in Mexico must identify goods or products that are duty free and whether they are part of or outside the agreement. “If we consider that trade is made with goods and not within the 1994 agreement, about 44 percent of what we sell is made outside NAFTA, which reduces the impact,” he said.