Mexico wants NAFTA deal now, but cannot agree on U.S. auto rules
Mexico’s economy minister said on Thursday he was pushing for a quick deal with U.S. officials in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with a breakthrough on new rules for the auto industry still elusive.
Since restarting last month, the talks have focused on settling differences between Mexico and the United States at the center of U.S. President Donald Trump’s complaint that NAFTA has undercut U.S. manufacturing to Mexico’s benefit.
Trump has threatened to withdraw from the 24-year-old trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada if it is not reworked to the advantage of the United States. According to Reuters, he hopes to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with lower-cost Mexico and claw back jobs, particularly in the auto industry.
“The idea is to do our best to finish this agreement as soon as possible,” Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters as he entered the latest NAFTA talks at the offices of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington.
“It’s better to have a good agreement than a fast (agreement),” the minister added.
Mexico and the United States have said they are close to resolving remaining bilateral issues in the revamp of the trade pact. However, a day earlier Guajardo had said the two sides might be able to reach agreement in “hours.”