MEXICO CITY, July 18 (Xinhua) — Mexico’s private sector said Tuesday it was ready to accompany the government delegation in the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Talks on the two-decade deal between Mexico, the United States and Canada are to begin in August in a bid to address U.S. President Donald Trump’s concerns that the existing agreement harms U.S. industry and jobs.
The president of Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Juan Pablo Castanon, said in a statement that the various economic sectors have held more than 200 meetings since the beginning of the year to hammer out a unified strategy on each of the points to be debated.
“We have carried out extensive preparatory work with each sector of the economy … we are united and prepared,” said Castanon, whose organization gathers Mexico’s leading business and industrial chambers.
Business leaders have formed an intelligence group to support the negotiating team with information, analysis, potential scenarios and concrete positions, he said.
The CCE has also consulted with politicians and lawmakers, workers and academics, and industry observers, as well as establishing communication channels with its U.S. and Canadian counterparts, he added.
NAFTA should be renegotiated with the goal of increasing North America’s competitive edge and jobs market, while looking out for the interests of Mexico’s productive sectors, said Castanon.
“We firmly believe in our open (economic) model and we will strive to find means of integration that will continue to strengthen North America as the world’s most competitive region,” said Castanon.
Trump believes the U.S. economy has suffered factory closings and the loss of jobs since the treaty went into effect in 1994