Canada and Mexico are dealing with lingering hard feelings over last summer’s surprise Mexican trade deal with the United States as their new continental trade pact awaits a final stamp of political approval.
Two weeks ago, the head of a visiting delegation of Canadian parliamentarians told the newly installed Mexican foreign minister his country threw Canada “under the bus” last August when it forged a bilateral trade deal with the United States during the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
A top Mexican trade official tells The Canadian Press that while there may have been a misunderstanding, the U.S. side deal was the work of the previous Mexican government, and Canada and Mexico’s new leaders are moving forward constructively.
The side deal between the U.S. and Mexico appeared to blindside the Trudeau government, forcing Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to abort a three-country trip to Europe.
Canada and U.S. negotiators reached an 11th-hour agreement that was signed two months later on Nov. 30 by the country’s three leaders — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Donald Trump and former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, who was on his last official day in office.
The deal must now be ratified by the legislatures of all three countries, but with turmoil in Washington, and a slowly-shuttering political window in Ottawa with a fall federal election on the horizon, that is far from certain.
The Mazatlan Post