Auto industry rules delay US-Mexico Nafta talks

28 August, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Mexico's Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo enters the Office of the US Trade Representative during a day of meetings on the NAFTA treaty in Washington

Reports circulating in the Mexican media indicated that an accord between the United States and Mexico could be reached as soon as today, though there was no official confirmation from either nation.

President Donald Trump said the United States may be on the verge of a "big trade agreement" with Mexico as the Nafta representative of that nation's president-elect signaled that the thorny issue of rules for the energy industry seems to be resolved. The person added that work on issues with Mexico is nearly entirely complete. Juan Pablo Castanon, president of the CCE group that comprises some of Mexico's most influential industry associations, said Wednesday night that he expects key advances in the NAFTA talks in the next few days.

Kissinger further stated that NAFTA "is not a conventional trade agreement, but the architecture of a new worldwide system".

Since Mexico's July 1 presidential election, the Mexico-U.

Despite President Trump's statements of breaking NAFTA into two separate bilateral agreements (one with Mexico and one with Canada), Guajardo maintained Mexico's position that NAFTA remain one trilateral agreement.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland of Canada said earlier in the week that she was encouraged by the progress and would rejoin the talks once bilateral discussions concluded.

"It could be that we end everything between the United States and Mexico this week", told reporters Jesus Seade, delegate to the NAFTA negotiations of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who also is in the talks.

US and Mexican negotiators were discussing a number of thorny issues, including Washington's insistence on greater USA content in auto production and how to resolve trade disputes within the confines of a new deal.

Trump prompted the Nafta revamp more than a year ago, complaining the pact has benefited Mexico to the detriment of USA workers and manufacturing. It was meant by the Trump administration as a mechanism to force a renegotiation of NAFTA every five years if the new terms failed to foster more balanced trade between the three countries.

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NAFTA negotiators, who began their work one year ago, have missed a series of informal deadlines, from an original goal for a deal by last December to a revised objective for an agreement in the first half of this year. They began at the insistence of Trump, who has repeatedly branded NAFTA a job-killing "disaster" for US workers and industry.

In his article, "With NAFTA, U.S. Finally Creates a New World Order", Kissinger referred to NAFTA as "the most creative step toward a new world order taken by any group of countries since the end of the Cold War".

However, representatives of US agricultural, manufacturing and other sectors have cautioned the White House that walking away could be a blow for the USA economy.

Peña Nieto greeted Trump and called the deal "something very positive for the United States and Mexico" but stressed that Canada must be part of the agreement.

A senior Canadian official on Thursday told reporters there had been "no indication of flexibility from the U.S. on this issue".

Trump tweeted on Saturday morning that the United States' "relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour".

The head of the White House wrote on Twitter that he is working closely with some people from the government and elected President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

FILE - In this August 9, 2018 file photo, Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks to reporters after meeting with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto at the National Palace in Mexico City.

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