Mexico's economy minister upbeat on NAFTA progress

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (AFP) — US and Mexican negotiators have made progress in narrowing differences on the update of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said yesterday.

The steps to reach agreement could allow Canada to rejoin talks next week, he told reporters as he entered meetings for the second day with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

US and Mexican officials have said they aim to conclude discussions this month and it is the third-straight week ministers have travelled to Washington for meetings.

Teams worked through the night “changing the text” and “got a lot of work done”, Guajardo said.

But the thornier issues are being left to the end, including the US demand that NAFTA be approved every five years, a provision known as a sunset clause.

“We are organising the items according to the degree of complexity and sunset clause is the very last,” he said.

Mexico has repeatedly said it is opposed to including such a clause.

More News...