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Mexico minister calls for 'flexibility' in reworking NAFTA

Reuters  |  TOKYO 

By Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) - Mexican said on Monday the only way countries re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will find a solution is through "sufficient flexibility" to narrow differences.

Guajardo said U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators will be "engaging strongly" in July to reach an agreement that is "feasible, workable and benefits the three nations involved.

"The only way we will find that solution is if countries involved have sufficient flexibility to be able to find that narrow strip where we have to land," he said.

"An agreement that does not give us certainty, does not give us rules that have to be obeyed and mechanisms to settle disputes will not be of help for the business community."

He said there was a "high chance" there will be an agreement on renegotiating NAFTA, but the timing depends on how flexible each country can be.

The United States, and have been in months of negotiations to rework NAFTA, which says harms his country.

has said Trump will seek to replace NAFTA with bilateral deals with and Mexico, something both countries say they oppose.

U.S. trading partners have been furious over Trump's decision to impose tariffs on and aluminium imports from Canada, the and as part of his "America First" agenda.

Fears of a global trade war come as Trump's decision to back out of the joint communique torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on a trade dispute between and its top allies.

Guajardo said public discontent over globalisation and open trade was evident even before Trump took office, saying that the current U.S. administration's position showed the system did indeed need fixing.

"We need to reconstruct our trade policies in order to strengthen them and make them more resilient in new times, where the population has been very clear in expressing their feelings through electoral processes," Guajardo said.

(Reporting by Kihara; Editing by and Sam Holmes)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 13:31 IST