WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must include a discussion of new financial services, a Mexican negotiator said on Wednesday, singling out so-called fintech companies rapidly gaining ground in the region.
Created 23 years ago, NAFTA includes Canada, Mexico and the United States and is being renegotiated at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump who made a campaign promise to get a better deal for U.S. workers.
Vanessa Rubio, an undersecretary at Mexico’s finance ministry who is taking part in the NAFTA negotiations that began in Washington on Wednesday, said discussions on financial services had found common ground between the three countries.
“We are not yet sure what will end up in the text of the new agreement, but we are sure that we need to have a discussion about new services, above all about the fintech industry,” Rubio told Reuters in an interview.
Rubio said her U.S. counterparts were focused on transparency in new regulations, while she pushed the need to standardize rules.
To modernize the deal, the three sides are looking at how to include e-commerce and other technological developments that did not exist when NAFTA was first negotiated.
Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Sandra Maler