ARIZONA NEWS

Trade rep: NAFTA negotiation breakdown could be disastrous for Arizona

Feb 28, 2017, 5:10 AM

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)...

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PHOENIX — No North American Free Trade Agreement could spell no more – or very little – prosperity for Arizona.

Mexico is threatening to walk away from the negotiating table if President Donald Trump continues insisting on high duties or import quotas.

Trump has said the agreement – which includes Canada – is unfair and responsible for a “massive imbalance” favoring Mexico.

James Ahlers is the Mexican trade representative for the city of Phoenix. He said in the last two years, Arizona alone shipped $9 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico.

“Mexico is by far our largest trade partner,” Ahlers said.

No NAFTA would mean a big slowdown in that, Ahlers said, and there’s more at stake than just money.

“Environmental issues, security issues – a lot of things that don’t just come down to dollars and cents,” Ahler said.

During his campaign, Trump said he wants a 35 percent tax on auto imports from Mexico.

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Trade rep: NAFTA negotiation breakdown could be disastrous for Arizona