MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico could pull back on cooperation in migration and security matters if the United States walks away from talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Mexican economy minister said in a newspaper report published on Thursday.
Ildefonso Guajardo, who will take part in the first round of NAFTA talks with U.S. and Canadian officials in Washington on Wednesday, told the Reforma daily that new tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States were unacceptable.
“If they do not treat [us] well commercially, they should not expect us to treat them well by containing the migration that comes from other regions of the world and crosses Mexico,” Guajardo said. “Or they should not expect to be treated well in collaboration with security issues in the region.”
Guajardo also said if U.S. President Donald Trump moves to impose tariffs of 35 percent on any Mexican exports, Mexico could respond with “mirror” actions, such as putting an equal tariff on U.S. yellow corn.
In an interview with Reuters this week, Guajardo said he saw a 60 percent probability that the talks would be wrapped up by a soft deadline for year-end.