14:21 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Mexico to Boost Trade With Russia, EU as NAFTA Hangs in Limbo

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    Mexico will seek to expand its trade with both Russia and Europe amid impending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations with the new US administration, the country's Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Secretary Jose Calzada said.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Mexico is aiming at renewing deliveries of beef and pork to Russia and at shipping honey, chickpeas, meat and tropical fruit to the European Union.

    "We must diversify, we will return to Russia, they want to buy Mexican beef and pork, we will also intensify relations with the European Union which is interested in our honey, chickpeas, meat and tropical fruit," Calzada said during a working visit to Coahuila state, as quoted in Monday's Agriculture Ministry statement.

    Around 78 percent of Mexico's agricultural exports currently go to the United States, he added, noting that Mexico exported $25 billion worth of agricultural products to the United States last year while importing $20 billion from its northern neighbor.

    The statement comes just weeks before the United States starts formal talks to renegotiate NAFTA, which is a free trade area covering Mexico, the United States and Canada. The US Department of Commerce on Friday said it would trigger the talks in around two weeks' time.

    US President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to renegotiate the treaty to get terms he believes are more favorable to the United States. NAFTA could also be scrapped if favorable terms are not hammered out.

    In February, Mexico’s Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said his country was planning to extend its current trade agreement with the European Union, adding that free trade negotiations have also been launched with Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam following the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade treaty.


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