Mexico plans to seek trade deals with TPP countries, prepares for US talks

Mexico plans to seek trade deals with TPP countries, prepares for US talks

Mexico Economy & Policy Corporate & Sovereign Strategy US

Mexico will seek bilateral trade deals with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries and work to broaden its export markets and increase investment from Asia, Latin America and Europe, President Enrique Peña Nieto said.

In a speech laying out Mexico’s foreign policy priorities as it prepares for negotiations with the new administration of US President Donald Trump, Peña Nieto said he would also look to keep trade flows between Mexico, Canada and the US free of tariffs.

The Mexican president spoke hours after Trump, who has vowed to renegotiate the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed an executive order withdrawing the US from the TPP, a trade pact that includes Mexico and 10 other countries.

This week, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Ildelfonso Guajardo will meet with senior Trump administration officials in Washington. Peña Nieto and Trump spoke by telephone on Saturday and are scheduled to meet on January 31, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

During his speech, Peña Nieto said reaching a solution in the talks would require "dialogue and negotiation" and listed 10 priorities that included respect for Mexican immigrants, the continued flow of remittances to families in Mexico and a call to cut down on the flow of illegal weapons to Mexico.

"Our foreign policy in the coming years will focus on two main priorities: strengthening Mexico’s connections with the world and developing a new phase of dialogue and negotiation with the US," he said.

Mexico will look to develop closer economic ties with other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, deepen trade links with the EU and strengthen business ties with Asia, Peña Nieto said.

He also criticized Trump’s plans to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump has repeatedly said Mexico will pay for the wall – a claim Peña Nieto has repeatedly denied.

"While Mexico respects the right of every country to guarantee its security, Mexico does not believe in walls," he said. "Our country believes in bridges. We will work for a border that unites us and does not divide us."