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Mexico, Canada to stay in NAFTA even if U.S. leaves - minister
September 1, 2017 / 12:26 AM / 22 days ago

Mexico, Canada to stay in NAFTA even if U.S. leaves - minister

Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal looks on at a news conference prior to the inaugural round of North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico and Canada would remain in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) even if the Trump administration abandoned the accord, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday.

“NAFTA will continue to regulate the relationship between Mexico and Canada,” Guajardo said at an event in Mexico City, noting that only Washington might consider leaving the accord. “The one that could take that decision, depending on how we get on with the negotiation, is our neighbour the United States.”

Guajardo was speaking a day before U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators meet in Mexico City to work on updating the 23-year-old trade accord, which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to dump if he cannot rework it to his satisfaction.

The negotiations in Mexico City will be the second round on revamping NAFTA after talks in Washington two weeks ago.

Trump argues the accord has cost the United States jobs and industrial capacity, while Mexico says the integration of the region has made it more competitive, helping to protect jobs.

“Neither Canada nor Mexico will announce their departure (from NAFTA) because we want to keep being regulated by NAFTA,” Guajardo added after a meeting with lawmakers.

Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Editing by Sandra Maler

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