Leaving the North American Free Trade Agreement would be more damaging to the United States than Mexico, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told Mexican Senate members Tuesday.
"An abrupt departure from NAFTA would mean more loss for North American exporters than for Mexican exporters," Videgaray said in response to an interview with U.S. President Donald Trump released Tuesday, reiterating his threat to cancel NAFTA.
During the televised interview, Trump said he believed canceling the trade agreement would be beneficial for the U.S. under his "America first" policy, as reaching a satisfactory agreement for all parties is becoming increasingly difficult.
"There is an economic reality that sometimes we lose sight of, that is that most of the trade between Mexico uses the general rules of the WTO (World Trade Organization),” the foreign minister reminded Senate members, saying Latin America is bigger than NAFTA and Mexico is more than prepared to investigate “different scenarios.”
As the fourth round of NAFTA talks opened in Washington, Mexico, Canada and the United States are finding it hard to reach agreement .
Business experts from both the U.S. and Mexico expressed their concern over Trump’s controversial list of proposals which include the elimination of the dispute settlement mechanism, the shortening of the treaty to five years per renewal, and a change to products requiring a tariff.
"There are several proposals that are poison pills placed on the table that could condemn the whole treaty," said Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Videgaray warned that the willingness and constructive disposition of Mexican negotiators should not be misinterpreted as an abandonment of the country's causes and interests.