Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg

Citigroup Says Everyone Gets Hurt If U.S. Abandons Nafta Accord

  • Modern version of trade agreement needed, Fraser says
  • With Citibanamex, Mexico is Citi’s largest foreign market

Citigroup Inc., owner of Mexico’s second-largest bank, said the Latin American nation would suffer along with the U.S. and Canada if the Trump administration abandons the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We certainly hope it doesn’t happen because it’s a negative for all three countries and it has a material impact on manufacturing and supply chains,” Jane Fraser, chief executive officer of the bank’s Latin American unit, said Tuesday at a conference sponsored by Credit Suisse Group AG in Florida. “We hope that all partners remain at the table because I think there is a significant win-win from a modernized version.”

Without Nafta, Citigroup’s institutional-client business in Mexico could suffer as businesses opt against investing in the country, Fraser said. The firm has been helping corporate customers prepare in the event the agreement is abandoned. Mexico is Citigroup’s largest foreign market, and the New York-based company’s Citibanamex unit is the nation’s second-biggest bank.

The U.S. has threatened to ditch the treaty amid its attempts to renegotiate the agreement with Mexico and Canada. President Donald Trump’s administration signaled on Tuesday that talks are going better with Mexico than with Canada. The U.S. initiated the Nafta revamp last year by saying it wanted to address its trade deficit with Mexico.

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