Mexico is focused on keeping a trilateral trade deal and won’t commit to the possibility of bilateral talks with Canada should NAFTA negotiations fail, the country’s finance minister told BNN’s Amanda Lang in an interview on Thursday.
“I think the benefits of a North American region are tremendous, and they have proven to be tremendous. I’m not speculating that it could happen – they have proven to be tremendous,” Mexico’s Finance Secretary Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya said.
“So it’s important to keep up trilateral talks and dialogues so that we can continue to work together. Mexico is committed to keeping this a trilateral region.”
Gonzalez Anaya’s comments come ahead of the next round of NAFTA negotations, which are set to take place in Montreal next week. The Mexican official was in Toronto Thursday to meet with Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Canadian business leaders.
U.S. President Donald Trump has long called NAFTA a bad deal that hurts American workers, and tensions have been rising over whether the countries can come to an agreement.
But Gonzalez Anaya, a former chief executive of state oil company Pemex, said that while NAFTA has transformed Mexico’s economy since its inception in 1994, it has also evolved to benefit all three countries.
“Our view on trade is that trade is beneficial to both parties,” he said.
“NAFTA is interesting because it has evolved into a value chain agreement in which many manufactured goods go back and forth many times. There is new value added throughout the manufacturing process, and everyone wins.”