January 23, 2018 / 12:48 AM / a month ago

Mexico economy minister to meet foreign officials, firms in Davos

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will meet with senior officials from the European Union, the United States, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Argentina at the World Economic Forum in Davos, his ministry said on Monday.

Guajardo, who is leading negotiations with the United States and Canada to redraw the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will be in Davos from Tuesday to Thursday, his ministry said in a statement.

The minister also aims to meet with executives from firms like Nestle, Heineken, Facebook, Siemens, Marsh & McLennan, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch InBev, UPS, Alibaba, Arcelor Mittal and Maersk, the ministry said, without going into more detail.

Senior officials from the three NAFTA nations will meet in Montreal for a week starting on Tuesday in the sixth and penultimate round of talks to modernize the 1994 treaty, which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to abandon, arguing it is unfair to the United States and its workers.

Canada and Mexico, which initially dismissed most of Washington’s demands as unworkable, now say there is more room to maneuver. But that still may not be enough to satisfy Trump and impatient U.S. officials.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland met Guajardo in Toronto on Monday to iron out details of the negotiations, and they agreed it will be critical to tackle some of the most complicated issues, the ministry said.

Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by James Dalgleish

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