Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wrote to U.S. President Donald Trump calling for quick NAFTA negotiations and for both leaders to reset relations between the two countries, Mexican officials announced on Sunday.
AMLO: Mexico Would Survive Collapse of NAFTA by Focusing on Internal Markets, Rural Economy
The letter was delivered during to Washington with senior Mexico officials who met with their U.S. counterparts. Left-leaning Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, won Mexico’s July 1 presidential election in a landslide.
In a news conference Marcelo Ebrard, the president-elect’s proposed foreign minister, read a copy of the letter, which states that the incoming administration’s aim is to "start a new chapter in the relationship between Mexico and the United States, based on mutual respect."
AMLO, who doesn’t take office until December 1, also called for a redoubled effort to conclude negotiations and revisions to the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which also includes Canada.
"Prolonging the uncertainty could stop investment in the medium and long-term, which clearly would challenge economic growth," Lopez Obrador wrote.
NAFTA renegotiations began nearly a year ago after Trump claimed the agreement should better serve U.S. economic interests.
The talks, which will be resumed on Thursday, have been stalled for several months after Canada and Mexico couldn’t keep up with the U.S. administration’s demands, particularly that 75 percent of all car parts be sourced from the three countries in order to qualify for tariff exemptions.
Since negotiations halted in May the Trump administration, citing security risks, steel and aluminum tariffs on these imports from Canada and Mexico.
In his letter, Lopez Obrador said that migration, development, and security are the main areas he wants to work on with his U.S. counterpart.
"My government is willing to present to our Congress … the initiative and budgetary proposal to contribute economic resources and experiences in this joint effort," AMLO wrote.