President Donald Trump says he is ready to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, after debating whether to pull the U.S. out of the deal.
But some Mexican officials say they believe Trump’s tough talk is mere bluster.
Trump says he was preparing to issue an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA until the leaders of Canada and Mexico called him to ask that he renegotiate it instead.
Trump has long said NAFTA is not a fair deal for U.S. workers.
This week he imposed tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports.
But some Mexican officials say they now believe Trump’s strong stand on trade is akin to a player bluffing in a poker game.
Mexico’s Economy Minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, told business leaders at a recent meeting in Detroit that NAFTA should be modernized to better incorporate items like e-commerce, not because the deal is unfair to the U.S.
“Sitting in a table with the other parties telling you ‘The only one that has been winning is you,’ then the whole discussion is going to be what are they extracting from you? So it’s not very wise,” Guajardo says.
The official negotiations on a new trade accord will likely not begin before late summer.