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Mexico City 2015 Blog: Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo on the Outlook for North American Integration

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mexico's economy secretary opened his remarks with a frank look at the current state of trade accords and cautioning against current protectionist language that mirrors criticism of NAFTA two decades ago. In particular, he noted the recent debate by U.S. legislators about Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He quoted U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who recently spoke on the U.S. Senate floor about putting “NAFTA in the rearview mirror.”
Guajardo contended that 20 years of the landmark North American trade deal proved the naysayers wrong. He said the accord created 6 million jobs in the United States, but also brought benefits to Mexico, improving options for Mexican consumers while creating a path for North America to work together. The secretary said the deal continues to produce results, citing recent multi-million dollar investments in Mexico's auto manufacturing sector by Toyota.
“The problem isn’t NAFTA,” he said, stressing that the issue involves addressing what is needed for the region to succeed in the competitive world of the twenty-first century. He emphasized that reducing wait times at the border represents the next step for making the trade deal and North American integration more efficient and productive. On that point, he stressed that newly approved pre-clearance measures will ease the flow of goods, but that technology has an important role to play as well, both at the border and in Mexico's economy overall. 
  • Usted puede leer el discurso del secretario aquí.

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