MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday they will continue to look for ways to make the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) beneficial for the three participant countries even as the United States threatened to withdraw from the accord.
At a joint press conference at the National Palace (the seat of the federal government) in Mexico City, Peña Nieto said that he and Trudeau had assessed the progress of the negotiations between the three member nations to update the NAFTA agreement, in effect since 1994.
“We will continue to work (...) to ensure that the new provisions are fair and beneficial to all three parties involved. President Peña Nieto and I are confident that, with our American partners, we can establish a framework that will create real, meaningful growth that benefits all our citizens,” Trudeau said.
Peña Nieto stressed the treaty, in force for 23 years, “deserves to be revised, updated, to be an instrument that favors the expansion of trade, cooperation, development and the prosperity of our countries.”
Trudeau, who is accompanied by minister of trade François-Phillippe Champagne, and minister of foreign affairs Chrystia Freeland, on his four-day trip to the United States and Mexico, had met US President Donald Trump on Wednesday and tried to keep the NAFTA renegotiations afloat.
“I think Canadians are aware that the American administration and the president makes decisions that surprise people from time to time, and that is something that we are very much aware of, and very braced for and conscious of,” Trudeau said at a press conference at the Canadian embassy in Washington after meeting Trump.
“My optimism is based on the fact that I know how good NAFTA has been for millions of citizens of Canada, of the United States, and indeed for Mexico,” he added.