Mexico President to Visit China to Boost Trade Amid NAFTA Talks

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto will travel to China next week to discuss trade and investment, as Mexico looks for ways to decrease its dependence on NAFTA, especially trade with neighboring United States.

He will hold a bilateral meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping and participate in a summit of the BRICS nations, a grouping that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on Sept. 4 and 5, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Pena Nieto’s visit comes as U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators meet Sept. 1 to 5 in Mexico City for a round of talks to revamp the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Mexico is trying to increase trade with Latin America and Asia, and on Monday took part in the first of three days of talks in Australia aimed at reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, disrupted by the withdrawal of the United States.

On Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his threat to scrap NAFTA, which he has cast as killing jobs and exacerbating the U.S. deficit, and ripped into trading partners Canada and Mexico.

Pena Nieto is scheduled to participate in a dialogue on emerging markets and a BRICS business forum, “where over 800 business leaders are expected to discuss opportunities for investment, trade, connectivity, financial cooperation, development and the blue economy, or sustainable use of marine resources,” said the ministry.

On Sept. 6, Pena Nieto will visit the offices of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s top e-commerce firm and one of Asia’s most valuable companies.

Mexico’s government is working to get Mexican products and services, especially from small- and medium-sized firms, onto Alibaba’s platform.

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