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9 Aug, 2023 10:00

US neighbor opts against BRICS

Mexico will instead work on strengthening ties with Washington, its president has said
US neighbor opts against BRICS

Mexico will not be joining the BRICS bloc of countries, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during his daily morning news conference on Tuesday.

The head of state noted that he plans to focus instead on enhancing his country’s economic relationship with the US and other neighbors.

We are not going to participate in this bloc, in this association. Of course, we celebrate that other countries do. However, for reasons of proximity, geopolitics, we will continue strengthening the alliance with North America and the whole of the Americas,” Obrador was cited as saying by La Prensa Latina news outlet.

His comments were made in response to media reports that Mexico was among the nations which had applied to join the five-nation economic group currently comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The bloc’s 15th summit is set to take place in Johannesburg later this month.

Obrador denied the reports, stressing that his administration’s current priority is developing ties under the 2020 US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The US and Canada are Mexico’s largest trading partners, with roughly 85% of Mexican exports going to the two North American countries. According to a Washington Post report last week, US imports from Mexico surged by about $10 billion year-on-year in 2023. Obrador said he plans to boost cooperation further.

Our program is to bolster the treaty with the United States and Canada, for us to consolidate as a region… We are going to pursue the integration of the entire Americas in the medium- and long-term, but we will change old policies that have not worked and in addition, convince the political class, above all in the United States, of the importance of Latin America,” he stated.

The upcoming BRICS summit will host 34 countries, South African International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters on Monday. She confirmed that the bloc has received membership applications from more than 20 nations, including Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

The summit is to take place in South Africa between August 22-24.

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