Wednesday, 15 August, 2018


Guajardo says NAFTA deal unlikely by Thursday

Guajardo says NAFTA deal unlikely by Thursday Guajardo says NAFTA deal unlikely by Thursday
Noah Ferguson | 17 May, 2018, 02:28

"It is not easy, we don't think we will have it by Thursday", Guajardo told broadcaster Televisa.

U.S. Representative Kevin Brady, the chairman of the tax and trade-focused House Ways and Means Committee, said there was probably little room to go past the Thursday deadline for a deal and still get a new NAFTA approved by year end.

Mexico's top trade negotiator said Tuesday that he doesn't believe an agreement between his country, the US and Canada will be reached by Thursday's informal deadline.

Guajardo said the talks could be concluded before or just after the July 1 vote. His pick for economy minister, Graciela Marquez, has said his administration would be willing to accept a deal struck before the election.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is leading polls to win the Mexican presidential race.

The economy secretary, who said last month that there was an 80% chance that a new agreement would be struck in the first week of May, now believes that there are "different moments to close the negotiation". "So depending on where we are on NAFTA on June 1, the president will decide whether or not to extend their situation", Ross said.

He met with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday and discussed the possibility of bringing NAFTA talks to a "prompt conclusion".

A report in Canadian media said Trudeau make a direct appeal to Trump to keep momentum alive at the negotiating table.

If that is not possible, she said it would be better to complete the negotiation after the next government takes office at the start of December.

He says Trudeau told the US president that the ingredients are there for a deal, but Guajardo also says the American side needs to drop some of its impractical proposals.

However, U.S. demands for a so-called sunset clause that would see NAFTA automatically expire if the agreement is not renegotiated every five years as well as the elimination of settlement panels for trade disputes remain sticking points. Neither Canada nor Mexico wants that.

Guajardo added that more flexibility was needed in order to reach a deal.

Ross, who is not directly involved in the negotiations, alluded to the idea that talks could still be in progress on June 1, when a USA steel and aluminum tariff exemption for Canada and Mexico expires.

Officials from Canada and Mexico were in D.C. last week working on the terms of a deal, but nothing was reached.

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