Mexico’s economy minister ramps up pressure for speedy renegotiation of NAFTA deal

Vastavam web: Mexico’s economy minister on Thursday urged officials to push for a speedy renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying his country and Canada must be ready to go it alone if the United States pulls out.Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said if no deal to rework NAFTA could be struck by April 30, then the new political complexion of the region would cast doubt on how incoming lawmakers would view it in Mexico and the United States.

Guajardo had previously identified a window for negotiation extending through July, though his comments come a few days after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer floated the idea of reaching a deal “in principle” in the next few weeks.The regular session of Congress in Mexico ends on April 30, and the country will elect a new president in July who takes office at the start of December. The United States will hold mid-term congressional elections in November.Mexico’s government is eager to broker a deal before a change of presidency, and Guajardo has also said his team would be ready to keep talking until the end of November.