Trade talks are expected to begin in June
Mexico’s economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo warned that his country will break off negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if the United States were to propose tariffs on products from Mexico, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
“The moment that they say, ‘We’re going to put a 20% tariff on cars,’ I get up from the table,” Guajardo told Bloomberg in an interview.
U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to scuttle NAFTA, the 1994 trade accord which also includes Canada, if he cannot recast it to benefit U.S. interests, raising the risk of a major economic shock for Mexico.
Mexico, which is preparing to discuss changes to some trade rules under the NAFTA, has however expressed confidence that Trump will not be able to impose harsh barriers on imports anytime soon.
Mexican officials expect talks to start in June, Bloomberg reported.
Trump spoke positively about a border adjustment tax being pushed by Republicans in Congress as a way to boost exports in an interview with Reuters last week.
Trump has sent conflicting signals about his position on the border adjustment tax in separate media interviews last month, saying in one interview that it was “too complicated” and in another that it was still on the table.
The White House and the Mexican government were not immediately available for comment.