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Financial News: MEXICO: Political And Economic Concerns Eclipse NAFTA Risk

MEXICO: Political And Economic Concerns Eclipse NAFTA Risks - Moody's

08/30/2017 - 18:51:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Mexico's upcoming 2018 presidential election may present a more significant challenge to the country's credit profile than the risk of a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Moody's Investors Service said in a new report.

The president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Enrique Peña Nieto, has lost approval due to corruption allegations, which could increase the likelihood of a victory by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party, who leads the polls.

Known for his opposition to the reforms that were approved during Peña Nieto's administration, López Obrador campaign could, according to Moody's, significantly delay the implementation of major reforms, including opening up the energy sector to private investment. An eventual political transition can also slow public investment in infrastructure, as the new administration will take time to establish its infrastructure priorities and develop projects.

"NAFTA renegotiations, meanwhile, are unlikely to disrupt trade and may present an opportunity for Mexico," according to Moody's. However, "an unfavorable renegotiation would curb growth, creating negative spillover effects for the local economies of the country's top exporting states," while initial proposals could stimulate industrial development.

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