Mexico NAFTA talks continue into weekend


That's a 'yes, ' according to President Trump, who tweeted Saturday that "a big trade agreement... could be happening soon".

It still is unclear if the Trump administration may strike a side deal with Mexico or attempt to get Canada to sign onto changes with NAFTA, according to people briefed on the matter.

A major trade agreement with Mexico may be coming soon, the US president announced.

Trump's insistence of including that in the trade pact drew swift rebuke from Canada and Mexico.

He hopes to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with lower-cost Mexico and claw back jobs, particularly in the automotive industry.

Donald Trump on Saturday hinted that the USA and Mexico were on the verge of finalizing a deal, as negotiators from both sides were holding talks through the weekend to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. "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.

Freeland was asked whether her European trip meant she didn't expect a breakthrough next week in the NAFTA talks.

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"The story of these types of things is always defined in the final minute, and I would say that we're practically into the final hours of this negotiation", Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said.

"What we're doing here is trying to get and solve the issues that are most important between the USA and Mexico - that will lead to a trilateral meeting with Canada", he said.

Other issues that still need to be resolved include the so-called sunset clause, which would kill the deal after five years unless the parties agree to renew it; rules for government procurement; and dispute settlement mechanisms.

The flags of Canada, Mexico and the US are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018. "But we haven've finished this stage yet", he said. He believes the White House will want to lock down a deal soon to ensure it's completed before the incoming Mexican government takes office on December 1.

However, one major stumbling block involving all three countries is the United States demand for a so-called "sunset clause", which would oblige the three countries to renew the trade pact every five years. "I think this reflects reality, I think we're doing well". A few hours later, Guajardo said a deal still had yet to be reached.

Lopez Obrador opposed Pena Nieto's energy reform, and the issue is divisive within his own camp.

Trump hinted that a deal was near in a Saturday morning tweet. Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador now looms large over talks, with some advisers close to him wanting to remove rules for the oil industry from negotiations, an issue that could inject uncertainty if it became part of Mexico's deal objectives under a new administration.