U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of the cancellation of the United States’ participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was everything but unexpected. What came as a surprise is that he did not unsubscribe the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. This was good news, at least for the moment.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, at long last on a timely delivered announcement Monday, said that the nation along with its South American counterparts in the TPP, Colombia, Chile and Peru, would seek to continue with the negotiations, a globalization plan that stems from 1989 as pushed by the former U.S. President George H. W. Bush’s administration as the Pacific Rim future free trade agreements.
Instead, the Latin American group will seek to strike trade deals with the seven Asian participants and continue with negotiations until fruition.
Peña Nieto announced that in the forthcoming two years of his administration, which ends on Nov. 30, 2018, Mexico will seek to negotiate with President Trump “on a basis of more certainty” as a clearing-up phrase from all the hearsay confusion that Trump’s isolated “twitter diplomacy” has caused and which has sent Mexico and Mexicans into an ocean of confusion over the future trade relationship with the United States.
Peña Nieto issued a 10-point policy which will be Mexico’s standard bearer in the upcoming negotiations:
1.- To have the U.S. government guarantee a humane treatment and respect for Mexican migrants.
2.- That migrant repatriation is on a dignified and respectful treatment.
3.- A defined commitment to work jointly on all issues.
4.- To insure the free flow of remittances to Mexico from Mexican workers in the United States.
5.- The United States and Mexico must work together to stop the illegal flow of weapons and illegal money to Mexico.
6.- Preserve the free trade among Canada, the United States and Mexico.
7.- In NAFTA, the three participating nations must include new sectors such as telecommunications, energy and electronic trade.
8.- The agreements must guarantee better wages for Mexican workers.
9.- Protect the flow of foreign investment to Mexico.
10.- Work on a border that unites, not one that divides.
Peña Nieto stated during his speech on Monday, attended by businessmen and union representatives, as well as the Senate Foreign Trade committee, that being left out of the TPP puts the nation at a crossroads in which it must seek to pull itself commercially away as much as possible from the United States and “seek new partners in other regions of the world.”
“It is evident the United States has a new vision for its foreign policy which has forced Mexico to take actions to defend its national interests,” he said.
He made it a point to make it clear that the relationship with the Trump administration will be one of negotiation, not confrontation. For that Peña Nieto outlined five negotiating stances:
1.- Respect Mexico’s sovereignty. Mexico will talk to the United States with dignity, strength and self-reliance.
2.- Respect the rights and laws of both nations.
3.- Establish a constructive relationship. Mexico will be open to new and pragmatic solutions.
4.- Let negotiations be integral, including all themes of importance and issues on the bi-national relationship, which regardless of differences, will not go away.
5.- And of course, Peña Nieto made it a point that Mexico says yes to bridges, roads and railroads across the border but definitely no to walls.
In all these negotiations he has ordered all participating negotiators to keep in mind that these are times of change, and in all this they must keep only one thing in mind: