The participants in talks on renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the US have made some progress. The US Resident Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke at a press conference in Montreal, where the sixth round of talks concluded, that progress was slow.
“We finally started to discuss key issues, so this round is a step forward. But we are moving very slowly”, said Robert Lighthizer.
The negotiators were hoping that the talks would end this year before Mexico’s presidential election and the US Congress’s partial elections.
Before the sixth round there were representatives who feared the United States was preparing to withdraw from the deal amid slow progress. The moods improved after Canada presented a series of compromises on US reform demands.
“For the next round we will still have significant differences to overcome. However, progress has so far put us in the right direction to create landing zones for the early conclusion of negotiations”, said the Mexican Economy Minister, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal.
The North American Free Trade Agreement between the three countries was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 1994.
The US President Donald Trump initiated its renegotiation because of the jobs and economy consequences for the US under the high competition of its southern neighbor.