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NAFTA breakthrough seems imminent after fractious talks

NAFTA breakthrough seems imminent after fractious talks

On a midday call with reporters, he said administration officials "hope Canada can join" and predicted the - for now - two-country deal would lead to a "rebalancing" of the U.S. -Mexico trade relationship.

He announced the progress from the Oval Office, with Mexican president Pena Nieto joining in on speakerphone.

United States and Mexican negotiators have been working for weeks to iron out differences in order to revise the almost 25-year old North American Free Trade Agreement, while Canada was waiting to rejoin the negotiations.

President Trump added, the move will be an "incredible deal" for both countries, especially for the manufacturing and farming industries.

Reporters have been waiting all weekend for the US and Mexico to announce their handshake deal.

"We'll have a formal news conference in the not-too-distant future", about the trade pact, Trump said to Pena Nieto.

After months of negotiations, President Donald Trump on Monday announced the United States and Mexico have come to an agreement on revisions to key parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - a trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Trump also said the US would put tariffs on Canadian cars or reach a negotiated deal with them.

Earlier in the day, a spokesperson for Freeland said: "Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners".




Jesus Seade, the Nafta representative for Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has predicted that the nations will agree on a softened version of a so-called "sunset clause", an automatic expiration after five years - a key U.S. demand. "We will only sign a new Nafta that is good for Canada and good for the middle class" and "we will continue to work toward a modernised Nafta". The U.S. wanted to bring back auto manufacturing jobs that had gone to Mexico. The leftwing government of Canada, the other member of NAFTA, had refused to negotiate seriously, perhaps believing their friends in the progressive commentariat predicting Trump's demise.

"It's hard to have three people all have the light bulb go off at the same time", the official said.

Over the weekend, USA and Mexican negotiators worked to narrow their differences, capping talks that had begun a year ago and have proved highly contentious.

Mexico and Canada have stood firm on the importance of maintaining the trilateral format of the NAFTA free trade deal, even as Trump has signaled a desire for individual deals with each country.

For that to happen, the US Congress must be notified 90 days in advance, which means the administration must send the notice by the end of the week. Canada and Mexico are the U.S.'s second- and third-biggest trading partners, respectively, and an important destination for US exports. In response, Mexico slapped tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. goods, including steel, pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon and different types of cheese.

However, the Mexican president said that Canada should now be incorporated into the deal.

-Mostly-Canadian Things: The U.S. -Mexico negotiations have been bilateral talks on how a three-way pact would look. Any new NAFTA would also have to get through the U.S. Congress, which sometimes takes years to approve trade deals made by a presidential administration.

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