Mexican government hires FTI Consulting to support NAFTA negotiations

15 November 2017 3 min. read

The government of Mexico has brought on FTI Consulting for strategic communications and public affairs services as the country enters re-negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

American President Donald Trump was elected on promises of tighter borders – making the movement of labour more difficult – along with import tariffs to dissuade US manufacturers from investing in foreign-made parts. While such promises are yet to materialise a year on from Trump’s shock election victory, the economic stability of G7 countries, including the US and Canada, has long been said to be threatened by the protectionist rhetoric of the 45th US President.

Having previously pulled the United States out of the international Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump has now turned his attentions to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump has repeatedly said the free trade agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada, which came into effect in 1994, is bad for the US. The President has also taken to the social media soapbox of Twitter to launch multiple attacks on what he terms the “worst trade deal ever made,” and has threatened to instruct his administration to pull out of the covenant, as a further part of his protectionist agenda.

Mexican government hires FTI Consulting to support NAFTA negotiations

The three-nation pact is presently in a period of renegotiation, as of last month. However, while talks for renegotiating the agreement began on October 11th, they were delayed after Canada and Mexico united to block proposals from the Trump administration. The tumultuous negotiations come at a key point in the Trump Presidency as the White House incumbent attempts to recover from falling polling numbers. Officials plan to reconvene in Mexico on November 17th to resume negotiations, which are expected to stretch into the beginning of 2018.

As the Mexican government under President Enrique Peña Nieto prepares for what will undoubtedly be a combative few months of talks, the administration has hired FTI Consulting for strategic communications and public affairs services during the NAFTA re-negotiations. FTI has experience working with clients amid geo-political and cross-border economic issues as one of the world’s largest strategic communications and public affairs consultancies, boasting a strong presence in Brussels, the political hub of the EU. As a result, the firm is currently offering numerous clients communications strategy work relating to the navigation of Brexit.

The contract with the Mexican government, which began on October 24th, is currently scheduled to run until November 31st,. However, this can be extended until whenever NAFTA negotiations conclude, according to documents filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). According to the filing, the 18 FTI staffers registered on the FARA database for the contract will work directly with the Mexican Secretariat of the Economy and Juan Carlos Baker Pineda, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade. The work will include strategy meetings, press releases, speeches, and media relations on behalf of Mexico.

While FTI has not commented on the contract, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has defended NAFTA and called for a stronger trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States.