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U.S. exit from NAFTA not devastating for Mexico

Staff Writer |
A potential U.S. exit from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would not be devastating for Mexico, said Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

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He was responding to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbus Ross who said on Tuesday that a failure to update NAFTA would have a "devastating" effect on Mexico as well as harm Canada.

Speaking to Mexican media Televisa, Guajardo said "the problem is we have to analyze how this would hit... regionally, as well as how it impacts the political balance of the actors who will finally vote for this treaty."

Guajardo indicated that free trade accounts for 40 percent of Mexico's GDP, but only four percent of U.S. GDP.

However, the failure of NAFTA would affect American domestic policy, such as its corn industry, of which Mexico is a large buyer, he explained.

According to Guajardo, Mexico would feel a short-term impact as "branding is very sensitive for the markets."

"Our capacity of adjustment and the way in which we do it is what gives us the force to resist the impacts of any change," he added. Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are carrying out the fifth round of talks to modernize NAFTA later this month.

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