U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet on Wednesday with the foreign ministers of U.S. NAFTA neighbors
Canada and Mexico are the first nations that will meet for discussions. They will likely touch on the future of the three countries’ NAFTA trade agreement. Tillerson met with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday morning. He will also meet with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Freeland, a former trade minister, is a strong proponent of free trade. She will likely to try to persuade Donald Trump’s administration that Canada is a country that he should spare from protectionist measures.
The Mexican statement outlined plans for his meetings with Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. On Wednesday, Videgaray will address issues including the protection of Mexicans in the United States. Also, they will discuss migration, and security and border infrastructure.
Trump made free trade deals a major target during his campaign for the presidency. He said that the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement is harmful to American workers. Furthermore, Trump said that he wants to renegotiate the deal. Thus, he hopes to get better terms for the United States. The deal aims to remove tariff barriers between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Trump considers tariffs negotiated between his neighbors are unfair.
Canada and Mexico both send the bulk of their exports to the United States and will suffer badly if NAFTA is ripped up, though Canadian officials say that if Trump walks away from the deal, Canada has the option of falling back on a 1984 deal with the United States.