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NAFTA talks don’t worry Yucatan business community

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Trucks cross the border with the United States at Tijuana on Monday while negotiators to the north, in Montreal, kicked off the sixth round of talks aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement. Photo: Getty/Guillermo Arias

Mérida, Yucatán — Complicated NAFTA renegotiations are of little concern to the president of the local Business Coordinating Council.

That’s because few companies in Yucatán are commercially dependent on the United States, said Carlos Campos Achach.

Yucatán is one of the states that would be least affected if NAFTA disappears because “we do not depend to a large extent on sales like other states in the north and center of the country,” said Campos Achach. “But it does not mean that it does not affect us, only that it would be to a lesser degree.”

“…One percent of companies located in the state would be affected, mainly the textile industry and the maquiladoras,” he said, referring to assembly and processing plants.

The president of the National Chamber of Commerce, Service and Tourism of Mérida (Canacome), Juan José Abraham Dáguer, participated in preliminary NAFTA “to have a better perspective of the negotiations,” said Campos Achach.

Businesses will wait to see how the economy develops in the first quarter of the year to analyze whether measures will be taken in response to price increases.

“So far we have been absorbing the increases, but if the time comes that the sector can not, that’s when you start analyzing strategies,” he said.

The increase in prices is mainly due to speculation that still persists nationally and internationally, in addition to the exchange rate, but what impacts his earnings the most is the increase in gasoline costs, making transportation of goods more expensive.

As the negotiations in Canada grind on, officials are looking at an extra three-week round in Mexico starting Feb. 26, ahead of the final scheduled round in Washington at the end of March, according to sources close to the process.

Sources: Sipse, Reuters

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