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Mexico: Secretary of the Economy Calls for Second Phase of Integration of NAFTA

(Oct. 31, 2013) According to the news agency Notimex, the Mexican Secretary of the Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, stressed the importance of updating and modernizing trade agreements, in order to leave behind the regional vision, reflected in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and make way for a global vision. He stated during the 11th Mexico Business Summit held in Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, that “unless we move on to the next phase – of adjustment – … we will not win the war in international competition.” (Urge Guajardo a Modernizar TLCAN, NOTIMEX/SINTESIS (Oct. 20, 2013).)

Guajardo especially emphasized that Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, the NAFTA members, should work for a second stage of integration of North America through the facilitation of border and customs procedures and assimilation of norms. (Id.) He added that when NAFTA was signed 20 years ago, the three countries together had 20% of the global export market, while currently they only have 13%, and that the 6% “that we lost was won by Asia.” (Id.)

How the process of integration of North America can contribute to a better international economic role for Mexico was also discussed at the summit. (Id.)