Mexico steps up dialogue with U.S. firms over economy – minister

6/9/2016  Reuters

mexico-usa-flag-montageMexico has increased dialogue with American companies to make the case for bilateral economic ties, a senior official said on Thursday, in an effort to counter anti-Mexican rhetoric in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has said Mexico is “killing” U.S. trade, threatening to build a border wall to keep out migrants, block remittances sent home by Mexicans, and raise tariffs against Mexico to protect U.S. jobs.

While generally at pains to avoid addressing Trump directly, Mexican government officials have warned that his proposals could do serious damage to both nations’ economies.

Paulo Carreño, Mexico’s new deputy foreign minister responsible for North America, was appointed in April to lead a drive to bolster his country’s standing in the United States.

Since then, Mexico’s diplomatic network in the United States has stepped up efforts to reach out to business leaders, as well as politicians and academics, Carreño said, keen to stress that his government took no side in the presidential contest.

Of the companies Mexico had met, the majority agreed with a model of bilateral economic cooperation based on free trade that did not involve a border wall, or protective tariffs, he said.

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