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The Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is on his China visit to take part in the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries that is happening on 5th September.
China has plans for US$250 billion in direct investment and US$500 billion in trade for the Latin American and Caribbean region till 2019 as it was announced by President Xi Jinping. But in light of hostility of President Trump towards Mexico, it looks difficult to bring Mexico firmly into that plan.
The Mexican President is in China with an eye towards expanding its international relations and also diversifying its trade initiatives especially when the economic policies of the US under Trump echo ‘America First’.
President Jinping also wants that the two countries should advance further in other areas as their cooperation in clean energy, direct civil flights and manufacturing is showing remarkable progress. He said, “Both sides should synergize their development strategies, make the most of their respective advantages to build a supply chain that links China and Mexico and radiate to the surrounding regions.”
There were voices that as the American administration under Trump has been alienating Mexico, it will have to diversify and China is the best bet to fill the void. But experts feel it is easier said than done as Mexico is very much a part of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement). Under this agreement, there are certain rules and regulations that will dissuade China’s entry. For example, the auto parts manufacturing boomed in Mexico, which accounts for nearly 40% of its imports to the US. Under NAFTA, it is mandatory for vehicles if they need to be tariff-free to have 62.5% of their components from the NAFTA countries.