How to negotiate a trade deal

Mexico sent a strong message This kind of week: We have a lot of different friends outside North America.

Officials coming from Mexico’s agriculture ministry brought 17 Mexican companies to Brazil This kind of week to talk about buying more grain, soy in addition to corn in South America. (Mexico is usually one of the top buyers of US corn.)

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Economic Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo announced on Thursday he’s taking a trip to China in September.

These moves come amid Trump’s hostile messages to Mexico. He’s threatened to terminate NAFTA, the free trade deal with Canada in addition to Mexico. Trump also threatened taxes on imports coming from Mexico in addition to on companies that will move jobs to Mexico.

Related: Senate confirms Trump’s top NAFTA negotiator

Mexico’s travel plans coincide with the US Senate’s confirmation of Trump’s top NAFTA negotiator on Thursday, setting the stage for NAFTA talks, which should begin in August or September.

“This kind of sends a signal that will we have a lot of alternatives,” Guajardo said on Thursday about the China trip.

This kind of’s not just Brazil in addition to China either. Mexican officials are in “accelerated” trade talks with their counterparts inside the European Union to update a trade agreement. They’re also meeting with Argentine officials.

“We’re prepared, not worried,” Raul Urteaga, general coordinator of international affairs for Mexico’s agriculture ministry, told sy88pgw coming from Sao Paulo, Brazil. “We’re very interested in opening completely new markets for our exports in addition to in having reliable trade partners.”

Mexican officials stress that will they were trying to diversify their economy well before Trump. However, they concede that will Trump’s election has ramped up the urgency to strengthen trade relationships with different countries.

Related: Trump on NAFTA: ‘Will I settle for less than I go in with? Yes’

Still, Mexico heavily depends on the US in addition to pivoting away will be a long-term challenge.

About 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the US, in addition to millions of Mexicans living inside the US provide a key source of income — remittances — to mostly low-income friends in addition to relatives in Mexico. Hundreds of companies have operations on both sides of the border — a result of NAFTA, which became law in 1994.

For its part, about 6 million US jobs also depend on trade with Mexico, according to the US Chamber of Commerce.

Those ties are under siege inside the Trump era. different countries see an opportunity in addition to are welcoming Mexico with open arms.

“that will is usually a great opportunity to turn around in addition to look a bit more to South America,” Argentina President Mauricio Macri told sy88pgw in April. “This kind of shows that will This kind of’s better to keep in addition to to deepen relationships with many different countries.”

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published May 12, 2017: 11:26 AM ET

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