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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: We ‘Did Not Tell Mexico We Would Defend NAFTA from Trump’

“The U.S. Chamber did not tell Mexico we would defend NAFTA ‘from Trump’ or that it was ‘aiming to keep Donald Trump from fulfilling his campaign threat’ as asserted in the headline and lede of the [recent Bloomberg Politics] story,” Blair Latoff Holmes, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s executive director of external communications, tells Breitbart News.

“In fact, Tom Donohue did not mention the president-elect in his remarks and made nothing personal. He expressed to attendees that the Chamber is supportive of the agreement, but we’re also open to it being updated as necessary,” the spokesperson adds.

Donohue, who has served as president and chief executive officer of the politically powerful Chamber since 1997, has been a staunch supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since it was signed by President Bill Clinton on December 8, 1993,

On Thursday, Bloomberg Politics reported in the first two paragraphs of its story on the Chamber:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce told a closed-door gathering of Mexican and American corporate and government leaders that it is aiming to keep Donald Trump from fulfilling his campaign threat to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Tom Donohue, head of the biggest U.S. business lobbying organization, told members of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue in Mexico City on Wednesday not to panic and to wait and see what the president-elect proposes once he takes office, said the three people, who spoke about the private event on condition of anonymity. The audience included cabinet officials from President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and more than 100 business and government leaders.

“No, the first paragraph [of the Bloomberg Politics story] is not accurate,” Latoff Holmes tells Breitbart News.

“If this is the portion of the Bloomberg story you are reporting on, I want to direct your attention to my quote later in the [Bloomberg Politics] story,” she added:

“There is no divide between the Chamber and the president-elect,” Latoff Holmes said in an e-mail. “We are looking forward to working with the new administration on pro-growth policies that will help American companies and communities thrive.”

President-elect Trump has made the renegotiation of NAFTA one of the keystones of his campaign to “Make America Great Again.”

As Breitbart News reported in September:

During an interview with 60 Minutes, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was questioned about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it a “disaster” and saying America needs “fair trade,” not “free trade.”

Trump told interviewer Scott Pelley that NAFTA is “a disaster” and the agreement shouldn’t exist.

“Soon after Donald J. Trump became President-Elect, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said her country was willing to ‘modernize’ the North American Free Trade Agreement, AFP reported, ” Breitbart News noted on November 10, two days after Trump was elected President of the United States.

President-elect Trump and the Chamber’s Donohue have well known reputations as tough negotiators.

Donohue is expected to lead the charge for American and Mexican corporations who want to “modernize” NAFTA in negotiations with the incoming Trump administration in a way that will safeguard their future interests.

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