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World

Mexico needs to diversify trade markets in response to U.S. protectionist measures: study

2018-07-30 09:32:50

MEXICO CITY, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Mexico needs to diversify its trade markets given the possibility that its biggest trade partner, the United States, will continue to adopt protectionist measures, a new study said Sunday.

"Mexico must aim to strengthen its open trade through ample diversification, in an environment with clear rules and fair conditions that benefit all participating countries," the Private Sector Center for Economic Studies said in its weekly analysis.

The center, a research arm of Mexico's Business Coordinating Council, praised the recent summit of the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc Mexico belongs to, for underscoring the benefits of free trade and the potentially harmful effects of protectionism.

The summit, which Mexico hosted earlier this week, additionally stressed the need for Latin America to expand its commercial markets to counter the protectionist policies "that the U.S. government has unilaterally imposed," the center said.

To effectively diversify its trade markets, Mexico will need to develop a more integrated and efficient productive sector, the center noted.

Another reason to court new markets for its exports is that a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may not benefit Mexico as the original version did, according to the center.

"For Mexico, the protectionist environment of our northern neighbor is very worrying, since we have developed our export sector mainly as part of NAFTA trade ties," the center said.

"While Mexico has one of the world's most open economies, the fact that a little more than 80 percent of Mexican exports are channeled exclusively to the United States is a reason for concern when we have no assurance what conditions the renegotiation of NAFTA will bring," the center said.

The renegotiation of the 1994 agreement began in August 2017, but has been slowed by U.S. demands for substantial changes to existing rules of origin in the automotive industry, among others.

Editor:Jiang Yiwei