Can Mexico overcome Donald Trump’s obsession with trade deficits?

7/17/2017 Financial Times

sea tradeAs Mexico braces for the US to put its Nafta negotiating objectives in writing, potentially as soon as today, Washington’s letter last week to South Korea makes ominous reading.

“President Trump continues to keep his promises to lower our trade deficit,” said US trade representative Robert Lighthizer. If the administration pursues that goal above all others in negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement that could start in mid-August, Mexico fears the talks will go nowhere fast.

The peril of pursuing such a policy was thrown into sharp focus — pardon the pun — last month. US automaker Ford, which in January ditched a planned $1.6bn plant in Mexico under pressure from Donald Trump, abruptly announced it was shifting production of its Ford Focus to China.

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