May 17, 2018 / Modified may 17, 2018 2:58 p.m.

Uncertainty for Importers Preparing for Longer Wait on NAFTA Deal

Mexican official says negotiations are likely going to break an important deadline this week.

Border crossing port of entry hero Trucks wait in line to cross into the United States via Nogales, while a sign reading "Bienvenidos a México" welcomes those crossing into Mexico. (PHOTO: AZPM)

MEXICO CITY — Business leaders across Arizona are preparing anxiously for the likelihood that negotiations for trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada will drag on into next year.

It seems unlikely the three countries will strike a deal for the North American Free Trade Agreement any time soon. Mexico's economy secretary told a local news program that negotiators are probably going to miss an important deadline this week. For importers of produce in Nogales, Arizona, that means they don't know whether a proposal to favor tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers from Florida — instead of Mexico — will go through.

"So it benefits a small sector, but the harm it does to the importing sector and the consumers in the U.S. is quite large," said Guillermo Valencia, chairman of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Port Authority. 

Valencia says negotiations lasting longer means uncertainty for importers, which he says is not good for business. 

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona