Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

NAFTA deal possible in August, says Mexican business group

NAFTA deal possible in August, says Mexican business group

"There is optimism", Juan Carlos Baker, deputy economy minister and member of the NAFTA negotiating team, said on Tuesday.

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 U.S. Canada and Mexico strongly oppose the idea.

Top trade officials from Mexico are in the USA this week after optimism showed through last week with a potential agreement on automotive rules as part of NAFTA, according to Politico, which notes progress on the contentious issue bodes well for farmers wishing for the certainty a NAFTA 2.0 would promise.

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.

One of the Canadian officials said Ottawa has seen a meaningful change in approach from the US on NAFTA - externally and internally - over the last seven days.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is not taking part in the current round of talks, as Mexico and the United States try to thrash out an agreement on including more North American content in autos made in the region, and possibly increasing wages. The United States is asking for the threshold to be 75 percent. At the time, Lighthizer said the proposal wasn't enough for the US, which had previously demanded that 40 percent of a auto, and 45 percent of trucks, be made by workers earning wages of at least $16 per hour.

NASA set to announce astronauts for SpaceX, Boeing missions
NASA awaits the completion of both companies' test flights before certifying either safe for use to return astronauts on low-Earth-orbit missions.

Chelsea moves to trump Spurs for Grealish - on Terry advice
Steve Bruce has said Tottenham are "nowhere near" reaching the asking price for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish . He looks to me to be a kid who needs to be told he is great, that "we will build a team around you".

Cell phone blaze aboard Ryanair flight sparks panicked evacuation
Footage also shows some disorder, with passengers being sent down the chutes even though others had not cleared the slides. A similar incident took place earlier this year on a China Southern Airlines flight to Shanghai.

Two industry sources in Mexico said an informal offer had been made to raise the content threshold a little higher, although a government official with knowledge of the talks denied that was Mexico's proposal. USA and Canadian trade unions have complained that more manufacturing has gravitated to Mexico due to the country's low wages.

A pragmatic approach might involve Canada unilaterally implementing initiatives that enhance the likelihood of a successful bilateral trade agreement if the trilateral NAFTA negotiations fail, while also making economic sense in their own right.

"In addition to the trilateral meetings, throughout the renegotiation of NAFTA there have been numerous bilateral meetings", said USTR spokeswoman Emily Davis.

Many questions remain unanswered as the talks drag on. They also met face to face last week.

Ditching the trilateral negotiations to strike a separate deal with the USA would undermine Canada's principled position in support of multilateralism. -European talks last week that were supposed to have seen off the immediate threat.

Freeland traveled to Mexico last week, and the trip was motivated in part by the US decision to isolate Canada from the talks, according to one of the people.

Like this: