Mexico bilateral NAFTA issues may be resolved next week-minister

20 August, 2018, 02:12 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Secy Pompeo Meets With Mexico's Foreign Secretary Over NAFTA

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday had expressed hope for a breakthrough in the coming days.

Deal-making progress is expected with Canada after the bilateral negotiations between the US and Mexico are completed.

President Donald Trump may claim another significant win next week on the worldwide trade front as negotiations with Mexico are expected to conclude.

Politico reports the political situation in both countries is such that each is more eager than ever to make a deal, setting up a scenario in which significant progress could be on the near horizon.

Canada, the third partner in NAFTA, has been absent from face-to-face talks in recent weeks. We want to make the right deal.

In their efforts to update the 24-year-old NAFTA pact, USA and Mexican officials have been working over the past four weeks to iron out differences over provisions affecting the auto industry.

"Ambassador Lighthizer has been making some phone calls and without talking about the specifics I am pretty optimistic, more optimistic than I have been in a while", Cornyn told reporters at the Capitol, adding that this would calm anxiety among farmers and businesses over Trump's trade disputes. "I'm hopeful with Mexico".

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Guajardo has been leading a delegation to Washington for four straight weeks to try to conclude a deal to rewrite NAFTA in time to be signed before a new government takes office in Mexico in December.

After the election, USA and Mexican officials began meeting again without the third member of the pact, Canada, in an effort to tackle hard issues, including revamped automotive sector rules and a sunset clause that could kill NAFTA after five years if it is not renegotiated.

Guajardo has stressed that the most hard issues had been left to the end, including the United States demand that NAFTA be approved every five years, a provision known as a sunset clause.

But Guajardo said, "There are issues that have to be discussed at the trilateral level".

Some auto industry executives have said the United States and Mexico are close to a deal to increase North American automotive content thresholds, with substantial requirements for content produced in high wage areas, namely the United States and Canada.

That also would put the deal in place before the new US Congress is seated in January, which would protect it from the possibility of opposition if Democrats win control of the legislature in the November mid-term elections.


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