Top U.S. trade official sees NAFTA 'breakthrough' in days

Trump administration nearing deal with Mexico on revised NAFTA — but issues with Canada remain

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo plans to travel to Washington on Wednesday for meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, their fourth set of talks in as many weeks, said Moises Kalach, the trade head for the national business chamber.

Donald Trump is suggesting the United States has deliberately left Canada on the NAFTA sidelines as negotiations between Washington and Mexico have heated up in recent weeks.

FILE PHOTO: The flags of Canada, Mexico and the USA are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018.

"If the USA wanted a bilateral deal - and they don't, they've repeated often they want a trilateral deal - they don't have legal authority. Whether that happens or not depends on the will of the White House".

The end of the tariff exclusions strained relationships with Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which responded with retaliatory tariffs on selected US goods.

Guajardo told reporters that although he is focused on the Mexico-U.S. talks, he remains hopeful there will be negotiations involving all three NAFTA partners.

NAFTA talks are continuing in Washington this week between Mexico and the United States.

"I think the Trump administration is playing a risky game if you have a final deal with Mexico and you present it (to Canada) as a fait accompli", said Daniel Ujczo, an global trade lawyer who specializes in Canada-U.S. affairs at the law firm Dickinson Wright.

At the Senate hearing, it was unclear how far-reaching a preliminary agreement with Mexico could be. The Trump administration had excluded the countries from global tariffs on the imports after concluding that the use of foreign-made steel and aluminum made the USA dependent on imports and posed an economic threat to domestic steel and aluminum manufacturers.

U.S. officials have indicated that if the deal can be agreed by the end of August it would be possible to win congressional approval for the new NAFTA before Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office December 1. And by most accounts, that will be tough to do. Some are optimistic, and think that a deal could be reached by the end of August 2018, while others are realistic, and feel that this bilateral, then maybe trilateral, then bilateral, possibly unilateral negotiation will end sometime mid 2019.

Canada isn't likely to have a major issue on the new auto rules, but is expected to go to the mat on at least two US demands.

They've said Ottawa's partners have frozen it out of the critical NAFTA negotiations as a tactic and have warned that Canada could eventually be forced into accepting a deal reached between the US and Mexico.

Trudeau faces considerable domestic political pressure to stand up to Trump - unpopular in Canada - and his strong-arm tactics to extract trade concessions.

The president has also said he would be interested in signing separate deals with both countries.

Asked about Trump's remarks Thursday, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said federal officials remain in touch with their American and Mexican partners.

Related News:



Most liked

MP bikes to hospital to 'finally have this baby'
Dozens of people had commented with good luck messages, others commenting on the fact she had cycled and calling her a "rebel". New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leaves hospital with her baby daughter, Niamh Te Aroha Ardern Gayford on June 21.

Johnny Sauter wins at Bristol, clinches regular-season title
The win was Sauter's first at Bristol but his fifth overall of 2018 and garnered him the honor of regular-season champion. Sauter reassumed command with 69 to go and held the top spot for 45 laps before Nemechek got around Sauter in traffic.

Everton deny Manchester United reports over Yerry Mina agent fees
I was confident things would get done but the days before were a bit stressful!" That's why we were also keen on back-ups. His biggest bit of business so far is the £44m recruitment of Richarlison from Watford.

Lionel MESSI scores sensational free kick in FC Barcelona win against Alaves
Messi fired a fantastic free-kick under the wall to open the scoring - Barcelona's 6,000th La Liga goal . Earlier, Celta Vigo drew 1-1 at home with Espanyol.

Trade unions unite in protest at likely new Air France KLM boss
Benjamin Smith will take up his duties at Air France-KLM at the latest on September 30, 2018. Shares in the company have dropped by a third since January.

Tyson Fury defeats Francesco Pianeta, sets up heavyweight showdown against Deontay Wilder
Tyson Fury then came through his ten rounder against Francesco Pianeta, forced to go the distance but never looking threatened by his opponent.

Markets Right Now: Walmart leads gains for US stock indexes
Marine transportation, precision instrument, and mining-oriented issues comprised those that gained the most by the close of play. A 2.9 percent drop in Caterpillar and a 1.4 percent slide in Boeing weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Preston North End drawn against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup
Leeds' third straight Championship win - in addition to their 2-1 victory over Bolton in the Carabao Cup midweek - maintained their 100 per cent start to the season.

Tesla files lawsuit against Ontario government over electric vehicle rebate program
The company added "the decision has also already inflicted substantial harm on Tesla Canada". Tesla has called for the application to be heard on "an urgent basis".

Netflix is showing adverts between episodes
Nobody likes ads during regular shows and Netflix is reportedly trying to insert video promos in between episodes of a show. This isn't like Hulu, where you watch content with the full knowledge that you're going to be fed commercials between acts.

'Hacky hack hack': Australia teen breaches Apple's secure network
The teen reportedly downloaded over 90 gigabytes of data and accessed customer accounts without exposing his identity. He later admitted to the police that he had "dreamed of" working for Apple , a claim that was affirmed by his lawyer.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus debut
Juventus , who spent a part of preseason in the United States, came together as a squad for the first time just a week ago. Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in Italy was supposed to deepen the divide between Juventus and the rest of Serie A .

Arsenal's familiar failings as Chelsea inflict more misery on Unai Emery
Otherwise, for us it is maybe a problem. "We need to give the players calm and continue working". He said: "He is a great player but in this moment he's not able to play for 90 minutes".

Young Melbourne man wins $50 million with last-minute ticket
The exact outlet where the winning ticket will only be released after 7am Saturday - unless the victor comes forward beforehand. One prank caller even tricked Kyle and Jackie O into believing he was a jackpot victor on live radio this morning.

PS VR Pre-order for CREED: Rise to Glory Starts Today!
Sure, it may not be the most advanced VR headset out there, but it is still able to deliver an exciting VR experience for PS4 players.