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NAFTA renegotiation positive for agricultural sector, says Mexico

Updated: 07 20 , 2017 15:13
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MEXICO CITY, July 19 -- Mexico's Minister of Agriculture, Jose Calzada, said on Wednesday that the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal with the U.S. and Canada will be positive for the Mexican agricultural sector.

Speaking at an event in Guadalajara to inaugurate the city's new cargo route to Vancouver, Canada, Calzada said that Mexico would not ask for any concessions or preferential treatment as it believes it is good to compete with its partners.

"In the discussion of the renegotiation of NAFTA, Mexico's agricultural sector will do well as it is the most important (sector) that we have, namely the capacity of our producers," he pointed out.

The U.S. government confirmed Wednesday that the renegotiations will begin on Aug. 16, with the first round of talks lasting five days in Washington.

The three countries will revise NAFTA at the request of Trump, who has blamed the deal for closing factories and costing jobs to American workers.

However, Calzada said that Mexico was at a disadvantage in terms of technology and innovation compared to its two partners, but that this gap has narrowed in 23 years due to the will of Mexican producers to develop as well as favorable public policies.

Mexico is now the 12th largest food producer in the world and its agricultural exports grew 11 percent in 2016, arriving in over 150 countries.

He pointed to the new Guadalajara-Vancouver route as an example of this innovation, since it will facilitate the transport of 200 tons of agricultural products a week, with a value of 2 million U.S. dollars.

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