January 16, 2020 / 1:00 AM / 7 months ago

Mexico trade official welcomes deal between U.S. and China

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A top Mexican official on Wednesday welcomed the signing of an initial trade deal between the United States and China, even though it could signal an end to benefits Mexico has enjoyed from an 18-month dispute between the world’s top two economies.

Jesus Seade, the deputy foreign minister who has been Mexico’s top trade negotiator under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said on balance it was better for Mexico for the United States and China to be working out their problems.

“If there’s a trade war, it means our business environment is bad, it’s suffering,” he told Reuters, pointing to the fact that the two countries were Mexico’s top two trade partners.

The trade deal will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of U.S. products. However, some sore spots remain unresolved.

Since the trade war deepened between Beijing and Washington, Mexico has become the United States’ biggest trade partner.

Seade noted that the trade spat had caused some migration of business from China to Mexico, and given Mexican exporters some advantages over Chinese firms that faced U.S. tariffs.

But overall, unhindered trade held out the promise of more growth for Latin America’s second-biggest economy, he added.

“I think it’s good they reach a deal, and hopefully it will continue,” Seade said. “We want China and the United States to grow, because there’s more business for us.”

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Richard Chang

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