Cash Flows Into Mexico Amid Trump Threats of Endless Nafta Talks

(Bloomberg) -- Eleven months of Nafta negotiations haven’t hurt investment in Mexico as much as U.S. President Donald Trump would think.

New foreign direct investments in the country coming from the U.S. grew 33 percent last year, according to data from the Economy Ministry. Total FDI from its northern neighbor grew 27 percent, a figure that includes reinvested earnings.

The numbers illustrate how trade between the two countries is deeply ingrained and unlikely to stop even as Trump threatens to carry on Nafta negotiations “forever.” The president said there isn’t a timeline for reaching a deal while speaking Thursday at the White House, in part because the uncertainty of talks is already discouraging investment outside the U.S. “As long as we have this negotiation going, nobody’s going to build billion-dollar plants in Mexico,” he said.

Perhaps not for auto plants, but billions of dollars did flow into Mexico in 2017 from the U.S. -- $13.9 billion to be exact. New investments comprised $5.6 billion of that total. And Mexico’s total FDI, when investments from other countries are included, was $29.7 billion.

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