AMLO’s would-be chief NAFTA negotiator touches base in Washington DC

Jesus Seade Kuri, who would assume the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the event that the leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the presidential election, is in Washington DC meeting with officials from different agencies interested in the development of the new agreement, reported El Financiero.

“I’m touching base with different people interested in the subjects, meeting with officials of the International Monetary Fund, of the World Bank, with academic experts, businessmen, with all kinds of people, simply to listen and to know how they see things and how it all looks,” said Seade in an interview with the news outlet.

The former deputy director of the World Trade Organization (WTO) would take over if the current government does not complete the modernization of NAFTA and the negotiating team should work with a group of Lopez Obrador in case it becomes president-elect.

Seade assures that the proposals that Mexico has received from the United States, such as the rules of origin for the automotive industry, do not have much support in the business sector, “but those are the needs expressed by the US government and you have to respect them, listen and see what can be done.”

Regarding the way in which the Mexican delegation has been conducted in the negotiations, Seade said that they have done a good job, at least from their perspective as a simple spectator. “No representative of Lopez Obrador has been in the room with the team, we see it from the outside, and we thought it was a very correct negotiation by (Ildefonso) Guajardo (Secretary of Economy and head of the Mexican team).”

With the background of years of experience as a negotiator, the current Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzen said he was confident that the talks between the three countries will come to a good term. “I have a lot of negotiating experience, negotiated the creation of the WTO, and I spent more than 10 years, almost 15 years, in the WTO and the IMF negotiating with countries. A negotiation has to start from the basis of understanding not only what the needs of your country are, but what is it that moves the other party it order to make an effort and find the best solution for both,” he said.

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