Mexico trade deal near; Nafta hurdles seen easing, says Trump

Screen Shot 2018 08 24

Screen Shot 2018 08 24

The U.S.is prepared to negotiate with Canada separately, but like Mexico would prefer to keep the current three-country deal.

"I have confirmation that she would be available the moment we believe we can enter into the trilateral" discussions, he said.

Now, the United States, Canada and Mexico can resume talks on pressing issues of trilateral concern, such as demands by the United States that a new pact remove the old agreement's investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and include a sunset clause mandating a review of the free trade agreement every several years.

Mexico's own political calendar and looming presidential handover means the window for sealing a revised trade deal with the United States is closing quickly - negotiators have until September at the latest. Yet certain USA demands that affect all three NAFTA nations remain unresolved and could still be deal breakers. Asked about issues between the ingoing and outgoing governments on the energy chapter, Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said: "We are working as one team, a team called Mexico, and we have to make sure that everybody feels comfortable with this agreement". "We'll do everything possible to try to land a deal".

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Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said negotiators will be back to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday morning.

"I think the handshake happens when everybody's done". The federal government, a few have warned, could find itself forced into deciding whether to accept a less-appetizing deal hashed out between the USA and Mexico.

The threat of 25 per cent tariffs could discourage new automotive investment in Mexico to serve the US market.

Seade on Thursday night rejected the idea that the energy issue has become controversial, but said that adjustments need to be made in the Nafta deal language to reflect Mexican sovereignty and rights regarding hydrocarbons in a way that isn't confusing.

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Donald Trump's aggressive approach to trade relations is slowly choking NAFTA, and the prospects for the North American Free Trade Agreement to survive are becoming increasingly grim.

He said that it was essential that Canada re-engaged with the talks. "Their tariffs are too high, their barriers are too strong, so we're not even talking to them right now". "We're going to put a 25% tax on every vehicle that comes into the United States from the European Union", the president told supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia on Tuesday, complaining that there were no Chevrolets to be seen on the streets in Berlin.

Both Mexican and Canadian officials have also balked at a US proposal for a "sunset" provision that could end the trade pact after five years, arguing that such a clause could send the wrong message to investors seeking long-term commitments.

Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, also said there had been discussion of imported products that do not comply with new NAFTA requirements.

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