May 12, 2017 / 2:41 AM / a year ago

Big Mexican firms to trim 2017 investment on U.S. concerns: lobby

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s top companies plan to reduce their investment in 2017 due to uncertainty over the future of trade relations with the United States under the Trump administration, a leading business association said on Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Consejo Mexicano de Negocios (CMN), a group comprising the 50 biggest companies from various sectors of the economy, said it would invest around $31.43 billion this year, a drop of 6.2 percent from the $33.5 billion announced for 2016.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to dump the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if he cannot renegotiate it in favor of the United States, casting a pall of doubt over the accord that underpins much of Mexico’s commerce.

That uncertainty sparked volatility in the peso currency, making some investors cautious, CMN president Alejandro Ramirez said in a speech in Mexico City.

Rattled by fears over Trump, the peso hit a record low against the dollar in January. Since then, U.S. officials have struck a more conciliatory tone towards Mexico on trade and the Mexican currency has recovered ground.

Reporting by Sheky Espejo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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