Mexican official eyes stronger ties with China after U.S. trade deal

FILE PHOTO: Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister for North America Jesus Seade gestures as he speaks during a meeting at the Presidential Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico should move to deepen its economic ties with China after U.S. congressional approval of a new North American trade deal, a senior Mexican official said late on Saturday.

Jesus Seade, the deputy foreign minister for North America and Mexico’s top trade negotiator, said that as the second year of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s six-year term got underway, boosting economic ties with China was vital.

Last week, the U.S. Senate completed ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a deal negotiated at the behest of President Donald Trump to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Canada’s parliament is expected to approve soon.

Writing on Twitter shortly before midnight, Seade said Mexico should take steps to capitalize on the investment potential China offered, noting that his country’s appeal to the Asian economy “grew enormously” with the USMCA deal.

Some Asian businesses wasted little time in committing investment to Mexico once the USMCA had passed U.S. Congress.

One day later, Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp said it would move production of its mid-size Tacoma pick-up truck from the United States to Mexico.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Lisa Shumaker