MEXICO CITY: Mexico will walk away from talks on revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement if US President Donald Trump slaps tariffs on Mexican-made goods, the economy minister says.
“The moment that they say, ‘We’re going to put a 20 percent tariff on cars,’ I get up from the table,” said Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.
“Bye-bye,” he added in an interview with Bloomberg News published Monday.
The comments ratchet up Mexico’s threats to boycott a renegotiation of its 1994 trade deal with the United States and Canada if Trump insists on hardline changes.
Trump has repeatedly trashed NAFTA as part of a tough stance on trade that has included threats to slap tariffs on imports from Mexico.
He has also floated tariffs as a way to pay for his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border, which he argues is needed to stop undocumented immigrants and drug trafficking.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Friday that Mexico will retaliate in kind if Trump slaps tariffs on goods made south of the border.
Bilateral trade between Mexico and the United States amounts to half a trillion dollars a year, and some 80 percent of Mexican exports go to the United States.
But Trump has said America’s $60 billion trade deficit with Mexico proves NAFTA was a bad deal.