The Mexican government, on Sunday, stated that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal must strengthen trade and investment in the country's agricultural sector.
While NAFTA talks continue, Mexico is seeking to diversify its export markets by expanding agricultural exports to China, Japan, South Korea and countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada said.
"For the country, the principles come first and then, our interests. If we stay on this path, it will go well, as we are defending a fair deal for an agricultural sector that is worth over 95 billion U.S. dollars to Mexico," the minister said in a statement.
He explained that of the $95 billion dollars that agriculture is worth a year to Mexico $30 billion come from exports and about $24 to $25 billion come from imports. One objective of the Mexican government is to put in place better programs and resources to benefit small producers.
U.S. President Donald Trump has, on numerous occasions, referred to the agreement – which was signed by the United States, Canada and Mexico – as the "worst trade deal" ever.
Trump frequently states that the agreement is only beneficial to Mexico and Canada, at the expense of U.S. jobs. Approximately 14 million American jobs depend on trade with Mexico and Canada, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Canadian officials, on the other hand, are said to be "extremely worried" about the negotiations.
“I’m hearing that people are extremely worried about where this is going, and people use language behind the scenes like 'it looks like the Americans are driving towards a cliff on this, and Canada will have to follow' and we don’t want to see that," Rona Ambrose, a member of Canada’s NAFTA Advisory Council told CTV.
"The way things are headed, Trump wins either way, but Canada does not," she said. "Trump has set himself up to win no matter what."
Canada's chief NAFTA negotiator and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, told CNN in an interview, that "Canada is kind of like the girl next door. It's easy to take us for granted."
U.S. trade negotiators recently added auto and dairy trade to the discussions, which Freeland said is "unconventional" and "troubling."
Regardless, Freeland, along with Mexico Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo, have expressed willingness to modernize the agreement but will not add clauses that will hurt their respective countries in the long run.
"It is certainly the case that this U.S. administration has a strong view about trade deficits as a sign that a trading relationship is fundamentally not working," Freeland said. "Canada doesn't necessarily take that view."
Former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer said it is imperative that Canada figures out what is beneficial to all three parties but, at the same time, not detrimental to Canadian business.
"This is very serious," he told CTV. "It won’t be without consequences in the United States as well," Doer explained. "It’s not necessarily a win to get a one-day headline and have unemployment in your own country," he said, referring to Trump's many threats to rip up the deal.
NAFTA negotiations were extended into 2018 after talks hit roadblocks. Canada and Mexico both reject the Trump administration's suggestion that NAFTA should include a sunset clause. The clause, if added, would force all three countries to revisit the agreement in five years to decide on a renewal.
The next round of talks will be in Mexico City starting November 17.