March 9, 2018 / 5:34 PM / in a month

UPDATE 1-Protectionism a risk, Mexico central bank chief says

(Recasts with growth risk, adds quotes)

By Anthony Esposito

ACAPULCO, March 9 (Reuters) - Trade protectionism poses a risk to economic growth and inflation in Mexico, the country’s central bank governor said on Friday, in the same week that U.S. President Donald Trump said he would press ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Although Trump excluded key U.S. trade partner Mexico from the tariffs, he left the door open for such measures in the future if efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement are unsuccessful.

“It’s clearly a risk factor,” Banco de Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said at the Mexican banking association’s annual convention in the seaside resort of Acapulco.

He called for free trade to be maintained to help fight inflation, keep prices down and boost growth.

“It’s very important for us that we keep trade open, as it has been in the past,” he said. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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