Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
Economy | By

Mexico NAFTA talks drag on as autos sticking points emerge

Mexico NAFTA talks drag on as autos sticking points emerge

Mexico's Economy Minister said on Friday that bilateral talks with the United States over the future of the NAFTA trade deal will drag into next week, and the timing of Canada's return to the negotiations will depend on how fast they resolve issues.

But the USA negotiators do not want to apply the same guarantees to new Mexican auto plants, the officials said, as the potential threat of 25 percent tariffs would discourage new automotive investment in Mexico to serve the US market.

These officials said U.S negotiators had essentially agreed that a new NAFTA trade deal would exempt existing Mexican auto plants from any "Section 232" tariffs that Trump may impose.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday evening, praising Mexico and threatening Canada.

At the close of the 3rd consecutive week of discussions in Washington, Guajardo said a deal was still possible by the end of the month.

"We are working like we've been doing for the last 3 weeks and making a lot of advancements".

"Today more than ever, we see an important window of opportunity, a very significant possibility that (pending issues) will be resolved", said Cervantes, who serves as an industry adviser to the Mexican negotiating team.

Before entering the meeting with Lighthizer, Guajardo was asked by reporters whether Canada would take part next week in the talks, and he said "possibly".

Talks are due to continue Friday and include Jesus Seade, economics adviser to Mexico's President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray discussed addressing irregular migration through Mexico and the region, a State Department spokesperson said.

A US-proposed so-called sunset clause that would kill a NAFTA deal unless it is renegotiated every five years has been another major stumbling block in the talks.

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