• Renegotiating NAFTA, US, Mexican CEOs say prefer no deal to bad deal

US and Mexican corporate chief executives involved in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) say it would be better to live with no deal than be burdened with a badly revised one.

The CEOs made the statement at a meeting in Mexico City on Wednesday, as parallel negotiations are underway in Washington to revamp the 1994 agreement, with Mexico and Canada opposing a number of radical US proposals they say would damage the North American economy.

“We are all much worse off with a bad agreement than with no agreement,” said Guillermo Vogel, who co-chaired the Mexico City event and is a vice president at Tenaris, a global steel company.

Vogel said the US and Mexican corporations still believed talks on NAFTA would produce a good deal and that their executives would continue to lobby their governments and lawmakers to negotiate a good agreement.

“With an agreement, in 10 years I see a strong region that can face Asia or China, without an agreement, I see a weaker region in the medium and long term,” he said.

The bilateral meeting on Wednesday also included a closed-door discussion addressed by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Idelfonso Guajardo, who are in charge of the NAFTA negotiations for Mexico.

FedEx’s CEO Michael Ducker and US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue also co-chaired the event on the US side, with Donohue expressing alarm that several US proposals in the NAFTA talks were “poison pills” that risked dooming the agreement.

The proposals included removing dispute resolution mechanisms, limiting trade in fresh produce, and introducing minimum quotas for US parts in autos.

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Oct 12, 2017 13:53 UTC
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