1. Mexico announced this week its chief negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations, Kenneth Smith Ramos. Smith is currently director of the Trade and NAFTA office at the Mexican embassy in Washington. Mexico’s Secretary of Economy also announced the rest of Mexico’s negotiating team, including Salvador Behar Lavalle as deputy chief negotiator, and Undersecretary of Foreign Trade for North America, Juan Carlos Becker.
2. The Mexican Ministry of Economy’s stated priorities for NAFTA renegotiations were unveiled in a submitted report to Senate. Included in the priorities listed in the document were strengthening North American competitiveness, advancing inclusive and responsible regional trade, and facilitating access for goods and services in the NAFTA region.
3. The Mexican Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal, announced that the second round of renegotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement will take place in Mexico around September 10. The first round of talks will begin August 16 in Washington D.C.
4. Transcripts of a January 27 call between Presidents Peña Nieto and Trump revealed that Trump asked Peña Nieto to stop telling the press that Mexico would not pay for the wall. Trump also shared that he considers Peña Nieto his friend, and that he wants Peña Nieto “to be so popular” that Mexico would amend its constitution so Peña Nieto could run for reelection.
5. A report commissioned by Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM), and conducted by human rights NGO’s accused INM staff of abusing migrants in detention and participating in human trafficking criminal organizations. The INM disputed many of the findings while asserting it has already undertaken measures to prevent these problems. The migrants, the majority of whom come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador complained of verbal and physical abuse including death threats and being held in solitary confinement.