Mexico City, Aug 17 (IANS) Thousands of members of social and trade unions protested here against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), claiming the pact marginalises local farmers and hurts Mexico.
A few hours after Mexico, the US and Canada began the first round of renegotiation of the treaty in Washington D.C., protesters on Wednesday gathered around the Angel of Independence Monument and marched towards the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports Efe news.
During the march, the unions, which joined together under the slogan “Mexico Better Without NAFTA”, held posters saying “The NAFTA Hurts You”.
Several trade union leaders took the occasion to criticise issues concerning the treaty, which was meant to be signed for the benefit of Mexicans, such as the loss of purchasing power of local workers, the import of food products and seeds from the US and the loss of Mexican sovereignty.
As the march concluded, the protesters read a manifesto, which was later delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that the government did not have enough social support to renegotiate the NAFTA.
US President Donald Trump has slammed NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, as detrimental to American interests and pledged to withdraw the US from the deal unless it can be revised.
Trump says the agreement has led to massive US job losses, provided incentives for companies to relocate their operations to Mexico in search of cheaper labour and caused the US’s trade deficit with its southern neighbour to soar.
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