July 21, 2018 / 9:53 PM / 9 months ago

Mexico's outgoing and incoming ministers meet ahead of key trade talks

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray delivers a message after a meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and his Central American counterparts in Guatemala City, Guatemala July 10, 2018. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Members of Mexico’s incoming and outgoing presidential administrations gathered on Saturday to begin collaborating before a series of key meetings on trade, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo spoke with Marcelo Ebrard, Graciela Marquez and Jesus Seade, who have been designated by president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as foreign minister, economy minister and NAFTA negotiator, respectively. Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, won the country’s July 1 presidential election in a landslide.

The group discussed issues related to a meeting of the Pacific Alliance trade group that will take place in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta next week and a ministerial meeting on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement to be held in Washington on July 26.

Seade, a trade veteran who served as Mexico’s ambassador in negotiations to found the World Trade Organization, will participate in the talks in Washington, the foreign ministry said.

“The negotiating team led by Luis Videgaray and Ildefonso Guajardo showed a good disposition and openness,” Ebrard wrote in a post on Twitter after the meeting. “We will be advising promptly of next steps with regards to the Pacific Alliance and the renegotiation of NAFTA.”

The officials also discussed a July 25 visit by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who will discuss the NAFTA negotiations with Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador will take office on Dec. 1.

Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Julia Love; Editing by James Dalgleish

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