NAFTA uncertainty to slow Mexican economy in 2018: IMF

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Mexico City, Nov 14 (IANS) The uncertainty over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will slow Mexico’s economic growth rate to 1.9 per cent in 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report.

The growth rate will see a slight slowdown next year, before an eventual resolution of the trade agreement allows the economy to pick up speed again, said the report released by Mexico’s Finance Ministry and the Bank of Mexico on Monday.

In 2017, Mexico’s GDP was projected to grow by 2.1 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

Mexico’s sound economic policies make it resilient enough to successfully weather uncertainties regarding its trade ties with the US, the IMF said, citing flexible currency exchange regulations.

Still, the agency recommended that Mexico should continue to implement structural reforms to spur economic growth.

“Continued structural reforms, coupled with the potential modernization of NAFTA, could boost investment and growth,” said IMF report added.

Mexico and its NAFTA partners Canada and the US will hold a fifth round of talks on the trade deal later this month in Mexico City.

US President Donald Trump has insisted the deal, signed in 1994, should be renegotiated, claiming it unfairly benefits Mexico and harms the American industry.

–IANS

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