NAFTA deal unlikely by May 17, says Mexico

NAFTA deal unlikely by May 17, says Mexico

NAFTA deal unlikely by May 17, says Mexico

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.

Don't expect a NAFTA deal by this week's supposed target date.

However, ultimately no new deal was forthcoming and talks this week also look set to fall short of reaching a definitive outcome, which would allow the U.S. Congress a chance to approve it before the end of the year.

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

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday that none of the contentious issues in a new NAFTA trade deal appear to have been resolved, diminishing chances of meeting a Thursday deadline to notify U.S. lawmakers of an agreement. "We don't think it will happen by Thursday", Guajardo said during an interview at a morning television news program. Mexico's presidential vote on July 1 also complicates the process. "They're ongoing now and we're pushing forward and hopeful that we can get something done soon", Sanders said.

The lingering uncertainty over the future of the 24-year-old trade pact, coupled with the upcoming election, has placed pressure on the Mexican peso, Guajardo said.

"You have to continue to negotiate and the moment you reach a good negotiation, close the deal", he added.

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"It could be before the Mexican election on July 1, it could be just after", he said. His pick for economy minister, Graciela Marquez, has said his administration would be willing to accept a deal struck before the election.

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 and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland were in Washington, D.C., last week working on a deal with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE.

President Donald Trump is committed to getting a better agreement with Canada and Mexico, press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News.

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

"There's no question the possibility exists, we're interested and I think the United States and Canada share this view", he said, speaking to broadcaster Enfoque Noticias.

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