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

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

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

Former Man City winger sends his old team a warning about Liverpool
"I think somebody who thinks like that, about a situation like that, is an a-hole, to be honest", Klopp told Sky Sports . The Special One has said City might be a rich club that signs the best players but they "cannot buy class".

Jerry Jones says Cowboys 'optimistic' about Zack Martin injury, teammates not anxious
Center Travis Frederick did not play Saturday because of a shoulder injury. Martin limped to the sideline and did not return to the game.

Shin Bet Denied 250 People Entry Into Israel This Year
This is not the first time the Shin Bet denies the testimony provided by people interrogated by their officers. Those denied entry were reportedly questioned by the representatives from the Shin Bet's Arabic division.

Stormy Daniels walks out of UK's Celebrity Big Brother
President Donald Trump in 2006, was not among the 13 celebrities who entered the house on Thursday night. She showed me the email. "She suddenly thought, I can't commit because being a mother comes first".

Second West Nile case confirmed in Calhoun County, statewide total at 23
Mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in other parts of Nevada, including last month in Clark County and Washoe County. While, DCHHS does not provide exact identifying information; the traps were collected near the northeast border of DeSoto.

Don Cheadle Explains That Time Mark Ruffalo Spoiled Infinity War's Ending
The House of Lies actor rewatched the interview he and co-star Mark Ruffalo gave during the press junket for Avengers: Infinity War .

New Zealand bans sale of homes to foreigners
It's little wonder, then, that last year the percentage of people living in their own home hit its lowest point in some 66 years. Half of New Zealanders owned a home in 1991, a number which has since dropped to one quarter.

Turkish president blasts ‘economic coup’ amid heightened tensions with US
Meanwhile, Erdogan told the AKP congress that Turkey would press on with and expand its cross-border military operations. The AK Party normally holds its grand congress once every three years.

Saudi Arabia prepares for the annual Muslim pilgrimage as Hajj begins today
Women wear loose clothing, cover their hair and forgo makeup and nail polish to achieve a state of humility and spiritual purity. During Hajj , pilgrims must walk around it seven times counterclockwise to ensure that the Kaaba remains on their left side.

Carl Frampton defeats Luke Jackson with ninth-round stoppage at Windsor Park
Hobart boxer Luke Jackson's hopes of a world title have been dashed after his team threw in the towel in the ninth round. Frampton's next bout is likely to be for a world title later this year. "I believe we're going to do the same again".

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed warns India ahead of Asia Cup clash
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Four clash and two teams will then play the final of the tournament. Sarfaraz evaluated India's performance in the Test series and said that Pakistan were well prepared for the England tour.

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 .

E-cigarettes can be key weapon in battle against smoking, insist MPs
A survey in Scotland found young people who use e-cigarettes could be more likely to later smoke tobacco. Public Health England (PHE) has estimated that e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

India vs England 3rd Test at Trent Bridge: As it happens
India were set to end the day in a very strong position, only for James Anderson to remove Hardik Pandya with the final delivery. The charge was led by Kohli, who will be furious with the manner of his dismissal. "In the end, it was a good score I think".

AJ McCarron of Buffalo Bills suffers right collarbone fracture
Allen led Buffalo to points on all three of his drives - two field goals and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Rod Streater . Allen dazzled with both his arm and his footwork, going 9 of 13 for 60 yards, a touchdown, and a 104.6 passer rating.