Mexico and Canada insist NAFTA remain a trilateral trade deal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Canadian and Mexican officials insisted on Wednesday that the North American Free Trade Agreement remain a trilateral pact and reiterated their opposition to U.S.

Reuters July 26, 2018 04:05:07 IST
Mexico and Canada insist NAFTA remain a trilateral trade deal

Mexico and Canada insist NAFTA remain a trilateral trade deal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Canadian and Mexican officials insisted on Wednesday that the North American Free Trade Agreement remain a trilateral pact and reiterated their opposition to U.S. calls for a so-called "sunset clause" that could end the deal after five years.

After a meeting in Mexico City, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said they remained optimistic about the progress of the negotiations to revamp the 24-year-old trade pact.

Talks began last August but stalled in the run-up to the Mexican presidential election. That was due, at least in part, to U.S. demands for sweeping changes in the auto sector and for a sunset clause, which would put the deal forming one of the world's largest trading blocs up for renewal every five years.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the pact if he cannot renegotiate it to better serve his country's interests.

Freeland and Guajardo struck an upbeat tone, with Guajardo saying about two-thirds of the agreement has been ironed out.

In Washington, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue raised the prospect on Wednesday that NAFTA could be negotiated separately with Canada and Mexico, in order to reach an agreement first with Mexico by September.

Although Mexican officials are heading to Washington this week to meet with their U.S. counterparts, Guajardo stressed that a deal between all three countries remained the goal.

"The fact that we are going to Washington to participate in bilateral talks is to reinforce the concept of the trilateralism of this agreement," he said. "The essence of this agreement is trilateral, and it will continue being trilateral."

Freeland will not be in Washington this week for the NAFTA talks, a spokesman said.

Freeland said the sunset clause could harm the auto industry, adding that Ottawa opposed a U.S. investigation of auto imports.

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who won the nation's July 1 election, has said he wants to accelerate the negotiations. His lead NAFTA negotiator, Jesus Seade, will join the Mexican delegation in Washington this week.

Freeland later held what she described as a good meeting with Obrador and said she had a clear understanding of where he stood on NAFTA. She declined to give details.

"Canada's very clear desire is to move the NAFTA negotiations back into higher gear now that we are past the Mexican election," she told reporters on a conference call.

(Reporting by Noe Torres in Mexico City and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Writing by Julia Love; editing by Tom Brown and Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts
Business

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000
Business

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000

By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
World

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son