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Mexico will leave NAFTA talks if Trump triggers process to withdraw

Reuters  |  MEXICO CITY 

By David Garcia, Adriana and Anthony Esposito

CITY (Reuters) - will leave the negotiating table if U. S. decides to trigger a 6-month process to withdraw from the pact, three Mexican sources with knowledge of the talks told on Wednesday.

reported earlier in the day that was increasingly convinced that Trump would soon announce the intends to pull out of the North American Free Agreement (NAFTA), sending the Canadian and Mexican currencies lower and hurting stocks across the continent.

"I think it's indisputable that if Trump announces a U.

S. withdrawal from NAFTA, well at that moment the negotiations stop," said Raul Urteaga, head of international for Mexico's agriculture ministry.

The two other sources, who are involved in the talks and asked not to be named, said that remains firm on its position to get up and leave from the negotiating table if Trump goes through with the move.

While a termination letter would start the six-month exit clock ticking, the would not be legally bound to quit once it expires. could use the move as the ultimate sleight of hand as it seeks to gain leverage over and in talks to update the 24-year-old pact.

Trump has long called the 1994 treaty a bad deal that hurts American workers. His negotiating team has set proposals that have alarmed their Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

Among the most divisive are plans to establish rules of origin for goods that would set minimum levels of U. S. content for autos, a sunset clause that would terminate the deal if it is not renegotiated every five years, and ending the so-called Chapter 19 dispute mechanism.

Though observers in and have become increasingly gloomy about the upcoming Jan. 23-28 round in recent weeks, some took heart from a recent speech made by Trump to farmers this week in which he held back from provocative comments about the deal.

Urteaga, who was a member of Mexico's original negotiating team in the 1990s, said that Trump's speech was an "interesting signal."

"No news, means good sometimes."

(Editing by and Jacqueline Wong)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 16:43 IST