By Azania Post Reporter
THE head of International trade for Mexico’s agriculture ministry, Raul Urtega, has threatened that his country will leave North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if US will go against agreement.
He said if U.S. President Donald Trump decides to trigger a 6-month process to withdraw his country from the trade pact, they would also be compelled to do so.
Reuters reported earlier in the day that Canada was increasingly convinced that Trump would soon announce the United States intends to pull out of the NAFTA, sending the Canadian and Mexican currencies lower and hurting stocks across the continent.
“I think it’s indisputable that if Trump announces a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, well at that moment the negotiations stop,” said Urteaga.
Sources say Mexico remains firm on its position to get up and leave from the negotiating table if Trump goes through with the move.
While a NAFTA termination letter would start the six-month exit clock ticking, the United States would not be legally bound to quit NAFTA once it expires. Washington could use the move as the ultimate sleight of hand as it seeks to gain leverage over Canada and Mexico in talks to update the 24-year-old trade pact.
Trump has long called the 1994 treaty a bad deal that hurts American workers. His negotiating team has set proposals that have alarmed their Canadian and Mexican counterparts.
Among the most divisive are plans to establish rules of origin for NAFTA goods that would set minimum levels of U.S. content for autos, a sunset clause that would terminate the trade deal if it is not renegotiated every five years, and ending the so-called Chapter 19 dispute mechanism.
Though observers in Canada and Mexico have become increasingly gloomy about the upcoming Jan. 23-28 Montreal round in recent weeks, some took heart from a recent speech made by Trump to farmers this week in which he held back from provocative comments about the trade deal.