Trump suggests United States close to 'big' trade agreement with Mexico

Trump teases about ‘big trade agreement’ with Mexico says relations ‘getting closer by hour

Canada has been waiting on the sidelines for weeks, as talks have focused on settling differences between Mexico and the United States at the centre of U.S. President Donald Trump's complaint that NAFTA has undercut U.S. manufacturing to Mexico's benefit.

The U.S. and Mexico in recent weeks had largely focused on auto manufacturing, as the Trump administration pushes for a deal aimed at boosting factory jobs in the United States.

"An agreement, even a limited one, should take some of the uncertainty and animosity out of the bilateral relationship", said Shannon K. O'Neil of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States and the Road Ahead.

Earlier, Guajardo told reporters the two sides were likely "hours" away from reaching a common position, but in the evening he said more work still needed to be done, and that talks would start again on Monday at 9 a.m. local time in Washington.

The structure Seade described is similar to a counter-proposal made by Mexico last November that called for a review of NAFTA's effects every five years without killing the pact. He has said that the deal has been a "disaster" for American workers.

Industry sources say they are close to agreeing on raising the regional automotive content threshold for tariff-free access under Nafta to about 75% from 62.5%.

Reuters reports that disputes about auto rules have pushed talks into next week, but the USA and Mexico are seemingly closer to resolving other issues.




Meanwhile, Trump said on Saturday that Washington could reach agreement with Mexico "soon" as the chief trade negotiator of Mexico's incoming president signaled possible solutions to energy rules and a contentious USA "sunset clause" demand.

"Obviously [auto] rules of origin is an issue where detail matters, and Canada will very much have a voice in the finalization of all of this", Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, told reporters Wednesday. S. talks have been complicated by divisions between the incoming and outgoing Mexican administrations over energy policy.

Both Mexican and Canadian officials have also balked at a US proposal for a "sunset" provision that could end the trade pact after five years, arguing that such a clause could send the wrong message to investors seeking long-term commitments. "It's no longer what the United States was putting first in any way", Seade said of the sunset clause outside the US Trade Representative's office.

While a USA proposal to increase tariffs on cars imported from Mexico that don't meet stricter new content rules was a sticking point earlier this week, that issue appeared to be resolved by Thursday.

He's spoken of better relations with America's neighbour following the rise of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (ahn-DRAYS' mahn-WEHL' LOH'-pez OH'-brah-dohr).

Mexico and the United States are hashing out key factors in the deal, including the sale and production of cars.

"Canada, United States and Mexico represent one body with three heads", said Alfredo Duarte, co-founder and president of Dallas-based Taxco Produce Inc., which imports food from Mexico. Mexico's current government, which is overseeing negotiations until Obrador takes office December 1, has already agreed to such a chapter.

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