Abbott defends NAFTA in second letter to Trump administration

04/04/2018 The Dallas Morning News

Greg_Abbott,_Governor_of_Texas_(26279225765).jpgGov. Greg Abbott doubled down on his defense of the North American Free Trade Agreement in a second letter to the Trump administration’s top trade negotiator, days after the president threatened to end the agreement over border security disputes.

In the letter dated Wednesday, Abbott thanked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer for his efforts to update the agreement but urged him to keep intact the rules that dictate which products receive preferential tariff treatment under the trade agreement.

The governor also asked to continue provisions allowing investors to file claims against NAFTA country governments if investor protections for fair and equitable treatment in the agreement are not upheld.

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Trump ‘enthusiastic’ about reaching NAFTA deal, says Canada’s PM

03/19/2018 Reuters

NAFTA_logoU.S. President Donald Trump appears to be “enthusiastic” about coming to an agreement on NAFTA, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday amid signs the pace of talks is accelerating.

Mexican and U.S. officials earlier this month pushed to speed up the process to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, though Trump has repeatedly threatened to terminate the $1.2 trillion trade pact unless Canada and Mexico agree to far-reaching U.S. demands for changes.

Trump has also ratcheted up tensions by tying the suspension of new U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs for Canada and Mexico to a successful NAFTA renegotiation. Canada and Mexico say they view the two issues as separate.

Q&A: Texas border towns hope NAFTA can be saved, revamped

03/14/2018 The Washington Post

naftaQ: How does NAFTA affect your district?

A: I represent 29 counties from San Antonio to El Paso: two time zones, 820 miles of the border with Mexico. It takes 10 hours to drive across my district at 80 miles an hour. It’s the size of Georgia. Border trade is important. NAFTA is important. You have manufacturing on both sides of the border. You have people who live on the U.S. side and work in Mexico. The amount of trade that traverses the land ports in my district is significant, and that has an impact on the local economy. Texas’ No. 1 trading partner is Mexico. So those relationships are important.

Q: Do people in your district want to keep NAFTA?

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Mexico to Discuss Security With U.S. in Parallel to Nafta

12/11/2017 Bloomberg

Mexico’s top diplomatic and interior officials will visit Washington this week to discuss security cooperation with their U.S. counterparts at the same time that negotiators work to overhaul Nafta, according to four people familiar with the plans.

The visit by Mexican Foreign Relations Minister Luis Videgaray and Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday is a follow-up to meetings in May, according to the people, who asked not to be named before the agenda is made public. It’s aimed at coming up with strategies to combat transnational criminal organizations, the people said. The press office of the Mexican Foreign Ministry and the U.S. State Department declined to immediately comment.

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Mexican ambassador talks NAFTA, Mexico’s image

12/4/2017 El Paso Inc.

On Nov. 16, I spent the better part of the day with Mexican Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez, who visited the El Paso/Juárez/southern New Mexico region.

In the morning, I was part of a small delegation that had breakfast with the ambassador at the Foxconn plant in San Jeronimo, Chihuahua, which is located just across the border from Santa Teresa, New Mexico. After breakfast, we toured the Foxconn facility, which makes Dell computers and HP tablets, followed by an interactive lunch at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas El Paso Branch.

Within the past 25 years, Gutierrez has worked in various high-level positions in the Mexican federal government, including stints in Mexico’s treasury department, Banobras (the Mexican development bank), the interior ministry, and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. Most recently, he was the head of the North American Development Bank, which is headquartered in San Antonio.

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Mexico presidency hopeful eyes tax cuts to counter Trump reform

12/5/2017 Reuters

A Mexican presidential hopeful and governor of a wealthy border state said he would cut taxes to compete with lower rates in the United States if President Donald Trump’s fiscal reform passes Congress, hinting at a broader potential response in Mexico.

Jaime Rodriguez, the governor of Nuevo Leon who is seeking to become the first independent to take the presidency, said he would lower “many taxes” if successful.

“We’re going to compete,” he told Reuters on Monday. “If I make it and am able to be president, I would lower taxes,” he added, though he declined to give details.

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NAFTA talks in Washington could reach deal on some chapters: Mexico minister

11/27/2017 Reuters

The next meeting of U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will begin on Dec. 11 in Washington, and they could reach agreement on some major chapters of the deal, Mexico’s economy minister said on Monday.

Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that the Washington round, at which ministers will not participate, should register more advances in topics such as telecoms, e-commerce, technical barriers to trade and regulatory practices.

“There are things we can make progress on,” he told Reuters, adding that those chapters could close during the discussions.

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