Mexico: Let’s get NAFTA done now

4/7/2017 CNN Money

Idelfonso-GuajardoMexico’s message: Let’s get it done soon before it’s too late.

“It will be in the best advantage of the countries involved that we finish this negotiation within the context of this year,” Mexico’s economy secretary Ildefonso Guajardo told CNNMoney Thursday evening at the World Economic Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Why this year? Mexico is scheduled to hold presidential elections in July 2018, and Guajardo’s boss, President Enrique Peña Nieto, can’t run again because of term limits.

There’s no guarantee the next administration in Mexico will come to the negotiating table.

Guajardo, who is one of the chief negotiators on NAFTA for Mexico, was echoing comments made by his American counterpart, U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, who said he hopes to start the process of trade talks before Congress’ spring recess begins April 10.

Guajardo drilled the point home, arguing it’d be hard to ratify a deal by mid-2018.

“Whatever I negotiate, nobody will be able to make sure we deliver, because you don’t know the outcome of the elections,” Guajardo said. “Incentives are there for us to really set an objective of negotiation — the latest by the end of 2017.”

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