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NAFTA deal unlikely by May 17, says Mexico

NAFTA deal unlikely by May 17, says Mexico”

On Tuesday, Mexico Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he saw diminishing chances for a new NAFTA agreement before a Thursday deadline to present a deal that could be signed by the current U.S. Congress.

That deadline was put in place by House Speaker Paul Ryan in hopes the GOP-led Congress will vote on a renegotiated deal before the midterms.

Negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada have been in intense talks since last month to try to reach a deal before US congressional elections in November.

The three NAFTA partners, Mexico, Canada and the United States, continue to disagree on several issues, he said. "That's where we are seeking solutions that will lend certainty to what we are negotiating", he said.

"We will keep negotiating, and in the moment that we have a good negotiation, we can close the deal. independent of which Congress (the current or new) that will vote on it", said Guajardo.

The currency fell to its lowest level in more than a year yesterday and some analysts believe that it will continue to decline in the lead-up to the election, which according to opinion polls, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is likely to win.

"It could be before the Mexican election on July 1, it could be just after", he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Donald Trump's hometown, urging thousands of newly minted American university graduates to fight a rising tide of intolerance and aggressive nationalism around the world. His pick for economy minister, Graciela Marquez, has said his administration would be willing to accept a deal struck before the election.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Monday, Ross said he did not believe any of the "big hot topics" were resolved, including rules of origin for autos, labor issues, US demands for a five-year "sunset" provision and major changes to dispute settlement systems. Guajardo said the next government's team would need to be involved in any talks after July 1.

Neither Guajardo nor Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had plans to travel to Washington on Wednesday, their representatives said.

Officials had billed Trudeau's three-day trip to NY and Boston as focused on trade and the economic relationship between Canada and the USA, with looming NAFTA deadlines as a backdrop.

"We could see the elements to arrive at a balanced agreement".

Kenneth Smith, the chief Mexican negotiator at the talks, said that for Mexico there were no deadlines.

"There's no question the possibility exists, we're interested and I think the United States and Canada share this view", he said.



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