A defiant Mexico said on Tuesday it would only stay in NAFTA if it suited it and rejected the imposition of any tariffs or quotas when renegotiating the trade deal U.S President Donald Trump wants to recast to benefit the United States.
Trump has vowed to exit the North American Free Trade Agreement, the 1994 accord which also includes Canada, if he cannot get better terms. For its part, Mexico would not accept changes that restricted free trade, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said at a session of Mexico’s Senate.
“We will remain if it suits Mexico,” Videgaray said. “(NAFTA) is not an act of faith, or a dogmatic position, it is an instrument to generate jobs.”
He was speaking days after a visit to Mexico by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in which Mexican officials hardened their position against trade and immigration policies under Trump.
The Republican president has angered Mexicans with calls for U.S. firms not to invest south of the border, hard line immigration policies and plans to make Mexico finance a border wall.