Optimism and urgency in Mexico for possible NAFTA agreement-in-principle

News of Canada, Mexico, and the United States possibly reaching an agreement-in-principle in North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations in the next few weeks is creating optimism in Mexico.

“The whole issue has gotten lots of attention lately,” says José Díaz-Briseño, the U.S.-Mexico correspondent for the Mexico City-based Reforma newspaper, in the following interview.

Earlier this week, the Mexican economy minister said there is an 80 percent chance of having agreement-in-principle by the end of the month, he notes.

But two deadlines remain on the minds of the Mexican side, says Díaz-Briseño. First, the U.S. trade promotion authority, which requires Congress to be given at least 90 days of notice before entering into a trade deal, with the deal contingent on their approval. That means a deal-in-principle must be introduced soon, with mid-term elections happening this fall in the U.S. Second is Mexico’s presidential election in July.

“It’s a very competitive race, but at this moment, leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is leading the polls. And he supports NAFTA, but many people…are not as comfortable with his economic positions compared to other candidates.”

Díaz-Briseño says the election is bringing nervousness to Mexicans, and a sense of urgency to the negotiations.

Hear RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney speak with Díaz-Briseño in a segment originally aired on RealAg Radio. The two talk about Mexican sentiment, what farmers think of the deal, how President Trump’s desire to change border security is impacting Mexican thoughts, and more:

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