Mexico’s president-elect doesn’t indicate he will be an impediment to plans to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between his country, the United States and Canada.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the first leftist to win the Mexican presidency since 2000, said he respects the efforts of the current Mexican government team renegotiating the trade pact, Reuters reported.
“We are going to accompany the current government in this negotiation, we are going to be very respectful, and we are going to support the signing of the agreement,” he told Milenio TV.
Lopez Obrador, a 64-year-old who was once mayor of Mexico City, planned to discuss NAFTA with current President Enrique Pena Nieto in a meeting Tuesday.
Last year, President Trump called for NAFTA to be renegotiated to better serve the interests of the United States. Lopez Obrador, on the other hand, said in his interview he aimed to secure a NAFTA deal that would benefit Mexico. He said he hopes to make Mexico more independent economically of the U.S.
Trump congratulated Lopez Obrador on Twitter on Sunday night, while his aide Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News that the administration still has intentions on making Mexico pay for a border wall.
The NAFTA talks have repeated missed deadlines, including a May 17 date set by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) for the parameters to be voted on by the current Congress. Congressional approval will now have to wait until the lame duck session following the November elections.
Forbes reported that there seem to be several stumbling blocks in the discussion, from dairy policy in Canada to wages for auto workers in Mexico to a sunset clause proposal from the Trump administration that would terminate NAFTA if the three countries don’t act within a certain timeline in the future.