Mexico says NAFTA deal unlikely this week, signing possible this year

Postado Mai 16, 2018

Mexico's top trade negotiator said Tuesday that he doesn't believe an agreement between his country, the USA and Canada will be reached by Thursday's informal deadline.

"It is not easy".

"Trudeau said that there are elements to reach a deal".

Meanwhile, a statement published by the White House yesterday said President Trump had spoken with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to address the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada have been in intense talks since last month to try to reach a deal before US congressional elections in November.

Mexico wants to reach an agreement before its presidential election on Sunday, July 1.

"We will keep negotiating, and in the moment that we have a good negotiation, we can close the deal and it will be notified, independent of which Congress [the current or new] that will vote on it", he said.

Mexico's peso sank to its weakest level in over a year on Tuesday, and the country's benchmark stock index fell about 1 percent to its lowest since early April.

The three NAFTA partners, Mexico, Canada and the United States, continue to disagree on several issues, he said.

As President Trump continues to push for more even trade deals, Mexico is casting doubt a deal on NAFTA can be made by Congress' deadline.

In the five-month period between election day and the swearing-in ceremony, Guajardo said, the next government's team would need to be involved in any ongoing trilateral trade talks.

Guajardo said he will continue in the negotiations but expressed discontent about the US request for the agreement to be renewed every five years, the Journal reported.

However, talks still faced the hurdles of USA demands for a sunset clause that would allow NAFTA to expire if it is not renegotiated every five years, and the elimination of settlement panels for trade disputes.

Guajardo added that more flexibility was needed in order to reach a deal.

In March, following the last round of talks which were held in Mexico City, Lighthizer observed that in spite of the hard work made by negotiators, "we have not made the progress that many had hoped in this round".

Irrespective of the May 17 date mentioned by Ryan, there was still time to ratify a new NAFTA this year, Smith added.