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Mexico President to Show 'Pragmatism' Dealing with Trump

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a speech during a welcome ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, Nov. 4, 2016.

Mexico will need to show "enormous pragmatism" in its dealings with Donald Trump's government, President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Tuesday, as his administration prepares to seek common ground on trade and immigration issues.

Mexico is on tenterhooks awaiting the accession of Trump to the U.S. presidency because of his repeated threats on the campaign trail to impose tariffs on Mexican-made goods and seal the country off behind a massive border wall.

Acknowledging that Trump's victory had generated some uncertainty, Pena Nieto reiterated his government would pursue dialogue with the next U.S. government to reach agreements.

"We'll have to work with enormous pragmatism to agree what's useful and convenient for Mexico and for the whole of North America," he told a business summit in the central city of Puebla, Mexican headquarters of German carmaker Volkswagen.

The Mexican president added that his government was committed to providing macroeconomic stability for investors, listing a flexible exchange rate, central bank independence and a solid banking system among the key planks of his pledge.

Concern has been widespread among business leaders and officials in Mexico that Trump could follow through on threats to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if he cannot renegotiate it in the United States' interests.

Struck between the United States, Mexico and Canada, NAFTA took effect in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of Mexican international trade policy. Mexico sends four-fifths of its goods exports to the United States.

Still, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo believes Trump will not back out of NAFTA, and has said Mexico could add new chapters to the deal to update it.