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Looks like Trump wins in the U.S.-Mexico ‘debate’ over renegotiating NAFTA

Both sides have ‘clear red lines’ they’re not likely to cross

(NationalSentinel) One of these days American and foreign leaders will begin to take our 45th president seriously, but until then, they’ll just keep misjudging and dismissing him as some babbling rube who doesn’t have a clue…to their detriment.

For months during the campaign, angry Mexican leaders, current and past, dismissed GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump as a bully, a blowhard and an imbecile when he claimed he was going to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the U.S. southwest border and make Mexico pay for it.

Mexican leaders also dismissed him haughtily when he said that, as president, he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed and implemented during the Clinton administration, because it was one-sided and a “disaster” for Americans who were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs as U.S. companies moved them south of the border.

Now, suddenly, Mexican leaders are taking Trump much more seriously—because they are discovering that he was serious and that they need the United States a lot more than the U.S. needs them.

As reported by Reuters, Trump’s incessant pressure has caused Mexican leaders to change their minds and sit down to discuss changes to NAFTA trade rules regarding a product’s country of origin, in order to avoid a disruptive fight with the U.S. over commerce—one that Mexico, frankly, cannot afford to lose.

Mexican officials say they see potential common grown with Trump on “rules of origin” language in NAFTA, an agreement that was signed by the U.S., Mexico and Canada. As Reuters noted further:

Rules of origin are regulations setting out where trade products are sourced from. Although formal negotiations about NAFTA have not begun, the rules could eventually be altered to favor U.S. industry over competitors from outside North America, particularly in Asia.

If those rules are eventually changed, that might move Mexico closer to helping Trump achieve a major campaign promise and policy goal: Bolstering American jobs and manufacturing, while dovetailing with the Mexican government’s efforts to strengthen North American competitiveness.

That’s not all. New negotiations could also open the door to a broader deal with the Trump administration over another major campaign promise—border security and immigration—Mexican officials say Agence France Presse followed up the Reuters report with a story of its own, claiming that Mexican leaders are saying the country is prepared to quit NAFTA altogether if talks fail:

Mexico drew red lines on Tuesday ahead of negotiations with US President Donald Trump’s administration, warning it could quit the talks and a major trade pact if the discussions hit a wall.

During the US election campaign, Trump vowed to make Mexico pay for a massive border wall and threatened to finance it by tapping into the $25 billion in remittances that Mexican migrants sent back home last year.

“There are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start,” Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told the Televisa network as he prepares to meet with US officials in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday.

Asked whether the Mexican delegation would walk away from the negotiating table if the wall and remittances are an issue, Guajardo said: “Absolutely.”

We’ll see if that threat actually materializes. As Reuters noted, 80 percent of Mexico’s exports go to the United States. While Trump certainly is not looking for a trade war with our southern neighbor, he, too, has drawn clear red lines he’s not likely to cross, either.

Stay tuned.

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