THE GLOBE AND MAIL
What Mexico wants from NAFTA talks

Mexican trade is not what it used to be. When its overhanging neighbours to the north began forging freer trade between themselves in the 1980s, Mexico was still seen as a closed economy, more concerned with its petroleum exports than full integration with the United States and Canada.

The difference between then and now is night and day.

Now, with the large majority of its exports being manufactured goods, “it has become a manufacturing powerhouse,” said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

The change in Mexico cannot be overemphasized. “The first thing to remember about the Mexican economy is that it has gone through an extraordinary transformation over the last 30 years, from being a commodity-exporting nation to being a country that now exports more manufactured goods than the rest of Latin America combined,” Dr. Wood said.

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