Mexico eyes NAFTA breakthrough next week, says Canada joining soon

Lester Mason
August 7, 2018

If Mexico and the US can agree on auto rules of origin and other topics such as the trade of steel and aluminum products, many say that would be a positive sign towards reaching a new NAFTA.

Media outlets reported Friday that Guajardo predicted there was a very good chance the USA and Mexico could sort out their bilateral NAFTA differences next week.

Whether Canada will finally join the other countries at the table, or stay on the outside looking in, remains unclear. Since that break, the already shaky Canada-U.S. relationship has sunk to an even lower level.

Talks among Mexico, the United States and Canada to modernise the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement have dragged on since previous year, after US President Donald Trump said he wanted a better deal for US business and workers.

He and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have waged a war of words after Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum that soured relations between the two nations.

Mexico is also insisting it will not agree to terms with the USA that it does not expect Canada to accept, these sources said.

Canadian officials likewise did not predict when they might be back in formal talks, but said any notion that they have been frozen out is erroneous.

One American source with knowledge of the negotiations said definitively they would not. The strategy, he said, will continue to be telling Americans how critical trade with Canada is for their economy.

"Frankly, I think we took it for granted and you can't". "It is something we have to discuss and the time has come", he said.

Some industry sources say that could lead to the rapid shuttering of some factories, making it a thorny issue for Mexican negotiators.

After missing this week's discussions, Clark added there's a risk Canada could find itself being forced into a take-it-or-leave-it situation on provisions agreed upon by the US and Mexico.

Mexico's economy minister said on Friday that Mexico and the United States could overcome key stumbling blocks standing in the way of a new NAFTA deal next week, adding that Canada would likely soon rejoin the negotiations.

- the de minimis threshold, which is the maximum value of an item that Canadians can order from a foreign country without paying duties or taxes.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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