Top Trade Officials Working to Update NAFTA
Top US, Mexican and Canadian trade officials met Friday to discuss prospects for updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
No time limit has been set for the Washington talks between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, a Canadian government source said.
Mr. Lighthizer, citing the need to avoid clashing with a Mexican Presidential election on 1 July, says he wants a Deal in Principle to update the regional trade pact.
US President Donald Trump Thursday said the 3 nations should have something to announce fairly soon.
Mexican and Canadian officials say some kind of an announcement could be made at a regional Summit in Lima, Peru at the end of next week.
Rogelio Garza, Mexico’s deputy minister for industry and commerce, told a food industry event that “I’m very convinced and have a good expectation that we will reach an agreement on the free trade agreement very, very soon.”
It would also enable President Trump and his trade team to focus on a widening trade dispute with China that could hurt the world’s 2 biggest economies.
The lack of clarity over the pact’s future has hit the Canadian and Mexican currencies in recent months as well as worrying financial markets which are also on edge about possible damage to the highly integrated North American market.
Have a terrific weekend.