CPMA releases statement on NAFTA negotiations

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In 2003, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Mexico agreed to place Mexican security agents on certain flights, but said it would never allow USA officials on board its commercial airlines, let alone armed.

Further, they said NAFTA has bolstered investor confidence via investment protections and a process to resolve disputes. He spoke to reporters after a briefing from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Republican Representatives Adrian Smith added: "I'm encouraged that we're seeing things progress".

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said enough progress was made for him to predict that chapters on telecoms and digital trade would be completed in Mexico City.

"For the next round, we will still have substantial challenges to overcome".

"I think he's a good negotiator", Volpe said.

Officials are now openly speculating that the bid to salvage the $1.2 trillion free-trade pact will continue well beyond an end-March deadline set to avoid Mexican presidential elections.

Heading into Montreal last week, some officials had feared the United States might be prepared to pull the plug on the pact amid frustration over slow progress.

Canada has filed a wide-ranging complaint to the World Trade Organization about the way the USA applies punitive tariffs, infuriating the Americans. After the US made proposals that shocked Canada and Mexico, they responded by insulting the USA ideas and even devoted one round to describing reasons why the American proposal on cars was so impractical.

His comments have unsettled markets that fret about the potential damage to a highly integrated North American economy.

A Mexican official with knowledge of the plan said the hardest part of the negotiations would center on allowing USA officials to carry arms, given that the use of weapons by foreigners in Mexico is sensitive and tightly regulated.

With just eight weeks left in the current schedule of talks - and with U.S. President Donald Trump frequently threatening to blow up the deal - all eyes were indeed on Lighthizer. Despite positive signs emerging, officials downplayed expectations for other chapters to be concluded, and talks on the most divisive issues remain largely theoretical. But a deep gulf remains over USA demands to boost regional auto content requirements and require 50 percent US content in North American-built vehicles.

"We know we can't take anything for granted until we get these negotiations across the finish line".

The U.S. has also proposed a sunset clause that would cancel Nafta after five years unless the parties agree to extend the deal, while the Canadians and Mexicans have suggested a periodic review, without termination, instead.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) acknowledged that it is evaluating the U.S. proposal, however, they emphasized that no agreement has yet been reached.

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