13-11-2018 03:00 PM
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said U.S. and Mexican trade mediators are about to close the mutual differences on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and will recommence negotiations on Monday morning.
He also added - "We've continued making progress,"
The Mexico-U.S. negotiations have determined on designing new rules for the automotive industry, which U.S. President Donald Trump has put at the heart of his force to revise the 24-year-old deal he says, has been a "disaster" for American workers.
Canada was out the most recent stage of the year-long negotiations, and once it rejoined the talks, the three sides would need to work for at least another week, Guajardo added.
Industry sources say they are close to concurrence on raising the local automotive content doorstep for tariff-free access under NAFTA to around 75 percent from 62.5 percent.
The Trump administration has been seeking to impose a cover on Mexican car and SUV exports to the United States that could be sent duty-free or at a 2.5 percent tariff, causing difficultiesto the auto talks.
Two automakers say the United States want Mexican exports of cars and SUVs to be covered at about 2 million units, up from some 1.77 million exported in 2017, excluding pickup trucks.
Mexico exported more than 2.3 million vehicles to the United States last year including pickups.
Trump told reporters on Saturday that Washington could reach agreement with Mexico "soon" as the chief trade negotiator of Mexico's incoming president signalledpotentialresolution to energy rules and a contentious U.S. "sunset clause" demand.
Jesus Seade, the incoming Mexican government's chief NAFTA negotiator, told the issue had been "ironed out" at the NAFTA negotiations, without going into features.
If three-way talks run into September, final approval of the deal in Mexico will likely pass to Lopez Obrador, because under fast track authority, the U.S. Congress needs 90 days' notice to vote on a new NAFTA once the renegotiation is finished.