NAFTA wasn’t designed to stop cheap Asian imports, but it could be repurposed that way

4/10/2017 Quartz

NAFTAAmid the fuss over US president Donald Trump’s first meeting with Chinese president Jinping Xi, the visit of Mexican foreign minister Luis Videgaray to Washington DC earlier this week went almost unnoticed.

It was a decidedly less flashy affair than the reception for Xi at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort—no one was asking what Videgaray ate during a series of closed-door meetings with US officials. But tightening ties with Mexico could prove a more practical strategy than wining and dining Xi, when it comes to counteracting the “massive deficits” and job losses Trump is trying to stem.

While Trump has dished out criticism fairly equally against China and Mexico for what he sees as lopsided trade, the nature of the US’s relations with the two countries is very different. Mexico and the US build products together; the US—and Mexico—mostly buy goods from China.

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