Trump says that a big trade deal with Mexico is near

Trump says that a big trade deal with Mexico is near

Mexico's chief trade negotiator Ildefonso Guajardo along with the rest of Mexico's trade delegation arrived at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington D.C. on Sunday afternoon after engaging in negotiations for the past five weeks.

Speaking as he arrived for talks at the U.S. Trade Representative's office, Guajardo said the negotiators would need at least a week to work with Canada, the third country in the trilateral trade pact, pushing any possible final deal into at least September.

Officials on both sides have insisted that talks in Washington this week between the US and Mexico have been going well with the White House eager to make an announcement of a bilateral deal as soon as this week.

Talks between U.S. and Mexican negotiators on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are set to resume Monday after a weekend of marathon bargaining in Washington, and hints that a deal is near. Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is reluctant to include energy trade in NAFTA, since his incoming government is considering broad changes to secondary energy reform laws to which the United States could object.

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Guajardo said he could not declare victory yet.

The tone has become more cautious since then.

"The idea is that we are staying because we know there are issues to resolve", he said. The U.S. has proposed tightening regional content requirements for auto production and having a certain percentage of a vehicle manufactured by higher-paid workers.

Even when Canada is asked to rejoin, its negotiating team might have to begin without Freeland. He also backed Trump's suggestion that an agreement is not far off. "And [it] will be happy to do that, once the bilateral US-Mexico issues have been resolved".

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Industry sources believe that they are close to agreeing on raising the regional automotive content threshold for tariff-free access under NAFTA to around 75 percent from 62.5 percent. "I think this reflects reality, I think we're doing well". "And will be happy to do that, once the bilateral US-Mexico issues have been resolved".

The U.S. sunset clause demand has been one of the biggest roadblocks to NAFTA deal since it was first proposed in October 2017.

Canada needs to reengage in the talks before the NAFTA rewrite can completed and "the only way that can happen is if we continue through the weekend and into next week", he added.

Canada's government reiterated on Thursday that it would need to be satisfied with any new rules of origin.

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Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland of Canada - the third party to the trade pact - said earlier in the week that she was encouraged by the progress between Washington and Mexico City and would rejoin the talks once the bilateral discussions concluded. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously has said one of the sticking points is the inclusion of a five-year sunset clause, which would limit the lifespan of the agreement.

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