Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Election of New Mexican President Adds Uncertainty to Future of NAFTA Talks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Election of New Mexican President Adds Uncertainty to Future of NAFTA Talks

Article excerpt

NAFTA future uncertain with new Mexico leader


OTTAWA - The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations was injected with a new dose of uncertainty with the election of a new president in Mexico on Sunday.

Following his overwhelming majority win, Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he supports reaching a deal on renegotiating NAFTA with the United States and Canada.

But the NAFTA talks have been stalled for several weeks and Lopez Obrador enters the scene as tensions between Canada and the United States have intensified as the two countries have become embroiled in a trade dispute.

After the election, Lopez Obrador said he'll propose that his own team of experts be included in the trade talks. The winning candidate said he will make that proposal in a meeting Tuesday with current President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Lopez Obrador told the Televisa network Monday that he will respect the current team of negotiators, and let them continue representing Mexico until he takes office Dec. 1, noting that he wants to have information on what's being discussed and "to help as much as we can."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he plans to stay in touch with the outgoing Mexican president, but hopes to work closely with the country's new president to "build on the vibrant partnership between our two countries."

But with Trump's inflammatory rhetoric, Canada's retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. and a leftist, anti-establishment Mexican president about to join the fray, there are some who believe any North American Free Trade Agreement talks may be in long-term limbo.

On Monday, a day after Canada's counter-tariffs came into effect, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said escalating the tariffs "does nothing to help Canada and only hurts American workers."

"We've been very nice to Canada for many years and they've taken advantage of that," Sanders said during her daily press briefing in Washington.

"The president is working to trying to fix the broken system and he's going to continue pushing for that."

The Trump administration has accused Canada of being a national security threat when it slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in June. …

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