Mexico hopeful to conclude NAFTA talks with United States next week

20 Agosto, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Mexico hopeful to conclude NAFTA talks with United States next week

The press offices of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo didn't return emails seeking comment on the development.

During a televised cabinet meeting today, the US president said his administration isn't negotiating with Canada right now, before adding that its tariffs are too high and barriers too strong.

President Donald Trump may claim another significant win next week on the worldwide trade front as negotiations with Mexico are expected to conclude. "And as a matter of fact, the Trump administration has even said 'we'll add extra tariffs on you if you don't play ball".

Robertson says he thinks the US will eventually work to achieve an agreement between all three countries, because getting the needed approvals through Congress would be far more challenging, otherwise.

In a jibe to Canada, Trump repeated his claim that the country's tariffs and trade barriers were "too high", which was why the United States wasn't even talking to them right now.

Once the two nations iron out the pending differences, Canada could then rejoin the discussions, he told reporters following a meeting with USA trade officials.

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According to a Los Angeles Times report, Mexico is eager to lock in a new deal before its (socialist) president-elect Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office while the Trump administration wants a "win" before midterm ballots are cast here in the states. "I'm hopeful with Mexico".

Negotiators have been working for four straight weeks to hammer out differences with Mexico, largely over provisions affecting the auto industry as they try to update the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, and sign a revised deal before the end of the year. Trump has repeatedly argued existing NAFTA rules have facilitated an exodus of manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to Mexico, especially in the automobile sector.

But preserving Trump's ability to levy national security tariffs on Mexican-produced autos that either do not comply with the new rules or from newly built auto plants has been a thorny issue in recent weeks.

Mexico has not yet engaged with the United States over a "sunset clause" that could kill NAFTA after five years, he added.

"We have everything on the table, there are no preconditions and we'll see at the end how the whole thing falls into place", Guajardo said as Thursday's meetings concluded. This would protect the deal from the possibility of opposition if Democrats win control of the legislature.

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