President Trump Hammering Out New NAFTA Deal With Mexico

President Trump Hammering Out New NAFTA Deal With Mexico

U.S. President 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.

Lighthizer was speaking in Washington during the latest round of high-level talks between USA and Mexican officials to rejig the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, with a deal still elusive a year after the renegotiation began.

The renegotiation has now dragged on for a year. Plus, the incremental progress, along with "good faith negotiations" between Mexico and the US are offering signs of hope to USA farmers and business in the global trade arena.

The press offices of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo didn't return emails seeking comment on the development.

"I'm hopeful with Mexico and then I hope once we get one with Mexico that Canada will come along", Lighthizer said. A breakthrough between Mexico and the United States could come soon, but NAFTA talks will remain a slow affair until US sticking points with Canada can be resolved. "So we're not even talking to them right now".

During the cabinet meeting, Donald Trump said he was in "no rush" to conclude the talks, stressing that he wanted to make "the right deal".

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Deal-making progress is expected with Canada after the bilateral negotiations between the US and Mexico are completed. He says a number of individual issues have plagued negotiators for the past few months.

Trump added that NAFTA has "been a disaster for our country".

Mexico has not yet engaged with the United States over a "sunset clause" that could kill NAFTA after five years, he added.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, Mexico is eager to lock in a new deal before its (socialist) president-elect Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office while the Trump administration wants a "win" before midterm ballots are cast here in the states.

That also would put the deal in place before the new US Congress is seated in January, which would protect it from the possibility of opposition if Democrats win control of the legislature in the November mid-term elections.

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