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Economics Gazette

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November 20, 2019

USA wants a preliminary deal on NAFTA by the middle of the month


NAFTAThe administration of the US President Donald Trump is pushing for a preliminary deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to be announced at the Organization of American States (OAS) summit in Peru next week. The Washington authorities will host ministerial meetings, which aimed reaching development in the process.

The White House wants the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico to prepare the basic frameworks of the new agreement during the meeting that begins on April 13, with technical talks going on afterwards.

However, the three NAFTA countries will have difficulties meeting the US targets, as differences still remain, including Washington’s proposal for more North American parts used in car production. The White House refused to comment on the announcement of a new contract to be announced during the mid-month meeting.

The Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will visit Washington, where he will meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. It is expected that some of the meetings will include President Jared Kushner as well as Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who, according to acquaintances, lead the bilateral relations between Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will arrive on Thursday for separate meetings with Robert Lighthizer.

The negotiations for NAFTA are under pressure from the political calendar, as general elections will be held in Mexico in July, as well as a vote for Senate members in the United States in November, which could potentially complicate the process of getting a deal and approving it by the legislative authorities in the three countries. The potential agreement is jeopardized if in Washington Democrats assume control of the Senate.

Mexico and Canada began the renegotiation of NAFTA conditions in August on the initiative of Donald Trump, according to which the agreement has forced US companies to cut down their staff and relocate factories in Mexico.


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