USA ‘very, very close’ to Mexico-only NAFTA deal: White House

22 Setiembre, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Arnold Perez

The United States is getting "very, very close" to having to move forward on its trade deal with Mexico without Canada, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Friday.

A Trump administration official announced on Friday that a trade deal with Mexico was "very, very close" to proceeding without Canada, as the USA and its northern neighbor try to hash out a deal before an October 1 deadline.

The Trump administration in late August reached a bilateral trade deal with Mexico that included quotas for tariff-free autos trade in the event that U.S. President Donald Trump imposes a 25 percent tariff on imported cars and parts on national security grounds.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland arrives at the Office Of The United States Trade Representative in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

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Investor concerns over the future of the 1994 pact, which underscores $1.2 trillion in trade, have regularly hurt stock markets in all three nations, whose economies are highly integrated. US business groups and some senior Democrats say NAFTA must be preserved as a trilateral grouping. Access to Canada's dairy market, trade dispute settlement panels and US demands for the ability to impose auto tariffs on its northern neighbor remain sticking points.

WATCH: Should Canada walk away from the NAFTA talks?

"I'm a little surprised that the Canadians haven't signed up yet", Hassett said.

Despite weeks of negotiations, however, Canada and the US have not been able to reach an agreement. But if they don't we'll just move ahead with Mexico and we'll get Canada fixed a little bit later. Neither Freeland or Lighthizer have commented on when they may meet next.

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