Mexico doubts that a NAFTA deal is possible by Thursday target date

Adjust Comment Print

As President Trump continues to push for more even trade deals, Mexico is casting doubt a deal on NAFTA can be made by Congress' deadline.

But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a more upbeat tone, telling reporters in Calgary a few hours later, "There is very much an eminently achievable outcome. and we are very close".

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. "That's where we are seeking solutions that will lend certainty to what we are negotiating", he said.

"The possibility that by Thursday we will have all of the negotiation (wrapped up) is not likely".

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has opened up such a wide lead ahead of July 1's Mexican presidential vote that his coattails could give his party a working congressional majority as well, according to a new polling analysis released this week.

Mexico's peso sank to its weakest level in over a year on Tuesday, and the country's benchmark stock index fell about 1 percent to its lowest since early April.

However, if that doesn't happen, Graciela Márquez said, it would be preferable to complete the negotiations after the new president is sworn in in December.

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

In the five-month period between election day and the swearing-in ceremony, Guajardo said, the next government's team would need to be involved in any ongoing trilateral trade talks. Trump campaigned on a platform to strengthen US industry and employment, in part by renegotiating the 1994 trade agreement.

Kenneth Smith, the chief Mexican negotiator at the talks, said that for Mexico there were no deadlines.

Hanging over the talks is Trump's threat to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on its trade partners.

"Mexico's position since the start of the negotiation has been that we're not going to sacrifice the quality of the deal to conclude quickly", he said, although he added that there is still time to reach a conclusion before the end of the year.

Comments