Mexico says ready to quit talks with US if necessary

Mexico's Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal.
Mexico's Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal.PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Mexico could walk away from negotiations with US President Donald Trump's administration if its demands cross certain red lines, the economy minister said Tuesday (Jan 24).

During the US election, Trump vowed to make Mexico pay for a massive border wall and threatened to finance it by tapping into the US$25 billion in remittances that Mexican migrants sent back home last year.

"There are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start," Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told the Televisa network as he prepares to meet with US officials in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday.

Asked whether the Mexican delegation would walk away from the negotiating table if the wall and remittances are an issue, Guajardo said: "Absolutely."

Guajardo and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray will hold the face-to-face talks with the new US administration ahead of a meeting between Trump and President Enrique Pena Nieto on Jan 31.

In addition to the wall, Trump wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada.