Juan Carlos Hartasanchez on potential NAFTA renegotiation

Politico's Morning Trade

By: Megan Cassella with help from Doug Palmer, Adam Behsudi and Catherine Boudreau 


Rather than bend to Trump's will, then, Pena Nieto has some leverage - and the domestic political support - to use the long-promised talks as an opportunity to demand better treatment on controversial issues like the border wall, to threaten an end to cooperation on cross-border exchanges like immigration and drug trafficking, and even to prove that Mexico has other trading partners to fall back on if NAFTA ultimately does fall apart.

And given Trump's intense, almost singular focus on Mexico and its trade deficit with the United States as the reason a NAFTA rewrite is needed, Mexican officials are looking to use the long-promised meeting not as a time to talk solely trade but rather to rework the two neighbors' entire bilateral relationship.

"That was probably the government of Mexico's first clear, smart strategy in terms of negotiating," Juan Carlos Hartasanchez, a former adviser to Mexico's finance ministry, told Morning Trade. "What they said is, 'Look, if you want to get into this, you need to be aware that we're not only going to discuss trade, we're not only going to discuss NAFTA. We're going to review everything, so you better be prepared to review all of these items if you want to make significant changes to NAFTA.'"