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How Trump's NAFTA Threats Are Bringing Mexico and China Together

August 31, 2017

Donald Trump’s repeated threat to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement could bring a little bit closer together the two U.S. partners who he’s complained about most: Mexico and China...

That helps explain why President Enrique Pena Nieto will be in China next week, meeting with President Xi Jinping, just as U.S. negotiators are in Mexico wrapping up the second round of talks on Nafta. Pena Nieto has been invited to a business forum at a summit of the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"This is an intentional effort of the president to show that Mexico has alternatives to the United States," said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the business group Council of the Americas. "They’re in the midst of Nafta negotiations and the U.S. president is saying very publicly that Nafta may have to be abrogated. If you’re the leader of either Mexico or Canada, that’s a pretty strong signal that you need a Plan B."

Policy makers have realized that they took Nafta for granted for much of the past two decades and didn’t advance enough in trade with other nations. Despite having trade accords with more than 40 countries, Mexico still sends 73 percent of its exports to the U.S., according to International Monetary Fund Data....

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