US, Mexico Said Near a Deal in NAFTA Talks, Canada Left Out
The US and Mexico are in the final stages of negotiating a deal on rules for cars sold under NAFTA
The 2 sides have exchanged new proposals for the auto industry. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo is scheduled to travel to Washington Thursday for meetings with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, his 2nd visit in 2 weeks.
In May, Mexico told the US that it could be flexible on automotive wages and content, including acceptance of a requirement that at least 20% of a car’s value would come from higher-paid workers, in exchange for President Donald Trump’s negotiators withdrawing some of their other tougher demands.
President Trump has threatened to impose sweeping new tariffs on imported vehicles in a possible attempt to pressure Mexico and Canada into striking a deal that would help drive manufacturing jobs back to the US.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Lighthizer, declined to comment on the automotive negotiations.
The press office of Mexico’s economy ministry didn’t immediately comment.
The talks have taken on a largely 2-nation format, with Canada rebuffed in recent attempts to engage with Mr. Lighthizer. The Canadian negotiating team led by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has been told that the US is focusing on negotiations with Mexico and is notinterested in engaging with Canada at the moment, according our sources.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that negotiations with Mexico are going well and may be close to wrapping up.
President Trump blames low-cost Mexican production for the outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs south of the border, a Key motivation for his demand to renegotiate the 24-year-old pact.
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