MEXICO CITY – Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday that Mexico is “seriously” considering Washington’s proposal to place armed US federal agents on cross-border commercial flights, but he delinked the decision to the renegotiation of NAFTA.
“We’re seriously analyzing” the US government proposal, which has been made “several times” to Mexico, Videgaray said in a meeting with Mexican senators.
He said that Mexico is reviewing the request from the point of view of “its legal viability ... its operational advisability and security.”
Videgaray also made clear that the decision will not be linked to the negotiations to restructure the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement currently under way with the US and Canada.
“We’re not going to negotiate the Free Trade Agreement in exchange for the air marshals,” he said.
“In the final analysis, the decision we make will be the one that is in Mexicans’ interest and that is compatible with our legal framework,” the foreign minister said.
Regarding the renegotiation of NAFTA, the sixth round of talks having finished in Montreal on Monday, Videgaray remarked that “no matter what happens, Mexico is strong.”
“If the result were not to be the desired one, we would not stop doing business with Canada and the United States,” he said, noting that although the other two nations acknowledged that the talks so far have made progress much still remains to be done.
Meanwhile, Mexican National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said that any US agents allowed on transnational flights would be equipped with “tasers,” not firearms.