Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Friday Mexico, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore aim to continue with the Trans-Pacific Partnership with or without the United States.
“We determined that our countries will press ahead with this agreement independently of what Washington decides,” Guajardo said of the trade deal on Mexican radio from Lima where he is taking part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
The six nations are among 12 signatories of the TPP, which currently cannot take effect without the ratification of the United States. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump condemned the deal on the campaign trail, leaving its fate uncertain.
What about NAFTA?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will meet on the sidelines of an Asian regional summit in Lima, Peru.
They intend to speak to each other more frequently about their NAFTA strategy in the months to come, said the source, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the issue.
Trump, who takes office in January, says he will either tear up or push to renegotiate the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement, under which Canada and Mexico both send the vast majority of their exports to the United States.
“The two men will run through a number of scenarios in Lima and talk about how to address them,” said the source.
“They will hold more frequent talks on NAFTA in the coming months as the president-elect’s plans become clearer.”
The Mexican government later said in a statement that Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will meet Canada’s International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland in Lima on Friday to discuss “issues of regional interest” in preparation for a meeting between Pena Nieto and Trudeau at the summit.
It did not provide further details on the leaders’ meeting.
Trump is working with close aides to decide who should get key jobs. His key transition officials do not yet have access to detailed briefing documents on national security and economic policy.
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The source said it was too soon to say what, if any, common front Canada and Mexico would take to defend NAFTA, given neither country had any idea what Trump’s intentions were.
Canadian officials say that if Trump walks away from NAFTA, Canada could fall back on an earlier 1984 free trade deal with the United States.
There are no such options for Mexico, which Trump has also singled out over what he says is the problem of illegal immigration. Trump made building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a central issue of his campaign.