Mexico warns risks for growth due to uncertainty over NAFTA

Mexico today warned of risks for its economic growth due to the uncertainty regarding the result of the update of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), one day after the fifth round of negotiations between the partners of the agreement ended without significant progress.

Mexico, Nov 22 (EFE) .- Mexico today warned of risks to its economic growth due to uncertainty regarding the outcome of the update of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. North (NAFTA), a day after the fifth round of negotiations between the partners of the agreement ended without significant progress.

After the talks in the capital Mexico, Mexico, the United States and Canada issued a joint statement on Tuesday in which they asserted that the negotiating chiefs "focused on advancing as much as possible, with the objective of reduce gaps and find solutions. "

" As a result, progress was made in several chapters, "they said.

The parties reaffirmed their commitment to move forward in all areas of negotiation with the objective of finalizing the negotiations as soon as possible, and agreed to hold the sixth round of negotiations from January 23 to 28, 2018 in Montreal, Canada.

Meanwhile, the negotiating teams will continue their work in intersessional meetings in Washington (USA) in mid-December.

The Ministry of Economy of Mexico issued its own statement in which it stated that "the technical discussions were productive on all issues."

"Although no chapter was closed, an advance was achieved. substantial anti-corruption, telecommunications, good regulatory practices, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade facilitation, electronic commerce, technical barriers to trade and in several sectoral annexes, "he said.

He assured that a successful modernization of NAFTA can" contribute to rebalance the commercial relationship in North America, promoting more trade and new investment opportunities ", and stressed that, from the Mexican perspective, the formulas that involve restricting trade do not pay for this purpose or increase the regional competitiveness.

He also stated that "Mexico will continue to participate in this process in a serious and committed manner, as it has done so far, even if we do not agree with some of the proposals made. "

Mauricio González, founding partner of the political and economic consulting firm GEA, told Efe today that in his opinion the result of the fifth round "It was reasonably acceptable in the sense that it keeps us going and in conversation."

"Nobody knows when they can conclude the talks, but as long as you keep talking it's good because it means that there is matter to negotiate. four consecutive days of appreciation of the Mexican peso, which today closed at 18.63 units per US dollar.

However, the US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer issued a statement on Tuesday stating that while progress has been made in some of the efforts to modernize NAFTA during the negotiations, effective since 1994, he remains "concerned about the lack of progress."

"So far, we have not seen evidence that Canada or Mexico are willing to seriously address provisions that lead to a rebalanced agreement. negotiations in Washington "in a serious way so that we can see significant progress before the end of the year."

Among the most controversial points of the fifth meeting of negotiation was the US request Most of the US trade deficit with Mexico, so the government of US President Donald Trump has pushed for changing the rules governing manufacturing automotive in North America.

Mexico and Canada have declared that the US proposals on "rules of origin" are unacceptable.

There are also differences between partners in regarding the resolution of disputes and the validity of the agreement itself, among other matters.

The lack of consensus on these issues led the Bank of Mexico today to warn of risks for the outlook for the country's economic growth for this year, which this Wednesday reduced from an interval of between 2.0 and 2.5% to one of between 1.8 and 2.3%, due to the September earthquakes past.

The earthquakes, which left 471 dead, "make it necessary to revise downwards the growth forecasts for 2017", although its consequences on economic activity "would seem have been moderate and transitory, "said the issuing institute.

" However, it is important to note that the balance of risks to growth has deteriorated, and is skewed to the downside, mainly because of the uncertainty associated with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), "the central bank explained.

Such uncertainty It has maintained "at depressed levels of investment and is possibly one of the causes of the slowdown in consumption," he added.