Quantcast
Connect with us

Mexico’s Pena Nieto ‘optimistic’ on NAFTA as country makes new offer

Published

on

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday expressed optimism about NAFTA talks that have been thrown into disarray by a U.S. probe exploring auto tariffs, while a source said Mexico had made a new offer to seek a deal.

The Mexican leader said he spoke with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau late Thursday about reworking the 24-year-old pact that underpins Mexico’s economy, and that the trade partners would keep close communication.

“He remains optimistic about achieving a Free Trade Agreement that benefits the three countries,” said a statement from Pena Nieto’s office.

Differences over how to reconfigure the auto industry have slowed progress on retooling the North American Free Trade Agreement, with Mexico showing some flexibility but refusing to completely meet U.S. demands.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said it would examine whether car and truck imports from around the world harm its auto industry, a move that may lead to new tariffs on exports to the world’s second-largest auto market.

One Trump official said the investigation was partly aimed at yielding NAFTA concessions from trade partners Mexico and Canada.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pena Nieto’s spokesman on Thursday had said Mexico would not buckle to pressure to conclude the long-stalled renegotiation.

“Mexico is not going to negotiate on the basis of pressure, Mexico is very clear about what works and what doesn’t work for us,” said Pena Nieto’s spokesman, Eduardo Sanchez.

“If an agreement is reached, it will be one that truly benefits Mexico. If these conditions don’t exist, Mexico will not move forward,” he added.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau on Thursday also said Washington was using the auto tariff probe as a negotiating tool.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, Mexico made a new offer on autos “showing some flexibility” on Thursday, following the U.S. announcement of the national security probe into car imports, a person familiar with the talks said. It was not immediately clear if the offer encompassed other areas under negotiation.

The three sides are in constant contact, including phone calls between ministers, and further talks were likely over the weekend, the person said.

Mexico has in recent days responded to U.S. proposals with an offer that 20 percent of any auto made in North America would be produced in high-wage areas, a Mexican industry source briefed on the talks said. It was not immediately clear in what areas Mexico had shown further flexibility on Thursday.

The United States wants 40 percent of auto content to come from areas paying at least $16 hour.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mexico has also proposed that 70 percent of overall content of a vehicle made in North America come from the region, countering a U.S. proposal of 75 percent for high-value parts.

Mexico and Canada have long demanded that the United States drop some of its most contentious ideas, including a so-called “sunset clause” to make NAFTA automatically expire if it is not renegotiated every five years.

Mexico’s economy ministry did not respond to a request for comment. Chief trade negotiator Kenneth Smith took to Twitter on Thursday to defend NAFTA’s role in expanding the U.S. auto sector, saying U.S. output grew 124 percent since 2009.

Trump ordered the renegotiation of NAFTA to meet a campaign promise to bring more manufacturing jobs to the United States. The nine-month long talks are now bogged down by differences over auto production.

ADVERTISEMENT

Once again courting voters in the U.S. industrial heartland, this time ahead of mid-term elections later this year, Trump says NAFTA has killed U.S. jobs and has threatened to scrap the deal.

Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono, told reporters in Mexico City on Thursday that his Mexican counterpart, Luis Videgaray, had promised to protect the interests of Japanese firms in NAFTA talks.

“He repeated that he would protect the interests of Japanese companies, for which we are very grateful,” Kono said. Major Japanese auto makers including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd have sizeable operations in Mexico.

Additional reporting by Diego Ore and Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Mihael Perry

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Activism

‘Weakness doesn’t win elections’: Indivisible co-founder explains why members are holding #ImpeachTrump rallies

Published

on

The growing support to commence impeachment proceedings by House Democrats is driven by their need to fire up grassroots support to hold control of the chamber, an Indivisible co-founder explained on MSNBC.

"The call for impeachment continues. this as protesters are hitting the street in more than 140 rallies planned across the country. Organizers say the "Impeach Trump" event is a day of action urging House Democrats to start impeachment proceedings," MSNBC's Richard Lui reported Saturday.

"A new survey from the indivisible project finds 80 percent of their respondents say the House should start impeachment proceedings," he noted. "Right now in the House, 63 Democrats and one Republican support impeachment."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mississippi fast food cashier ‘terminated immediately’ for ugly racist slur on customer’s receipt

Published

on

The owner of a fast food restaurant in Mississippi "terminated immediately" an employee after a racist and misogynistic slur of patrons.

When Lex Washington visited Who Dat's Drive-Thru in Oxford with her roommate, the cashier listed them on the receipt as "black b*tches in a silver car."

A manager reportedly refused to apologize at the time, and instead "laughed in her face."

A photo of the receipt then spread on social media.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

George Conway calls out fears Trump will compromise new US intelligence initiative aimed at Russia

Published

on

On Saturday, George Conway drew attention to a specific passage of a new article from The New York Times about the intelligence community's efforts to counterattack the Russian power grid, in response to years of covert Kremlin attacks on our own:

“[O]fficials described...hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern...that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation...to the Russian foreign minister.” https://t.co/BXTjjXBmia

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link