Mexico hit back fast on US tariffs on steel and aluminium on Thursday, targeting products from congressional districts that President Donald Trump’s Republican party is fighting to retain in November elections. Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the tit-for-tat measures would complicate talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that underpins trade between the neighbours. The spat meant it would be “very difficult” to reach a deal to revamp NAFTA before Mexico’s July 1 presidential election, though he underlined the continent had not entered a trade war.
Guajardo told Mexican radio “A trade war is when there is an escalation of conflict. In this case, it is simply a response to a first action. We should stick to the clearly defined battlefield, where the response is appropriate and proportional.”
Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel – products from U.S. heartland states that supported Trump in the 2016 election.
Source : REUTERS
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