NAFTA Deal Won't Be Reached By Informal Deadline, According to Mexico

A New NAFTA Deal Doesn't Seem Close, Despite Deadline

President Donald Trump's trade chief has indicated he needs a deal this month but hasn't publicly identified a particular day. "He's not going to stop until he gets it".

"The first step here is Nafta".

When, or if, a new NAFTA deal is struck after today, it will face the scrutiny of a new US Congress as well as a new Mexican president and legislature.

As reported by Reuters, Mexico's Economy Minister, Ildefsonso Guajardo, is remaining upbeat that a NAFTA resolution could be had within the next few weeks, though the US' self-imposed deadline of this Thursday doesn't appear set to materialize.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said that under timetables imposed by a 2015 law, the three countries need to complete a deal by Thursday if Congress is to pass a new treaty before the November midterm elections.

Moreover, presidential elections take place in Mexico in July, and the expected victor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is a populist who could take a harder line on NAFTA.

"The possibility that from here to Thursday we have the full negotiation is not easy, we do not believe that it will happen from here to Thursday", Guajardo told Televisa network.

The "skinny NAFTA", Ujczo says, would fall in line with the "do no harm" pleas by USA agriculture, but he says not addressing key issues gives Democrats an advantage to say President Trump "did not fulfill his campaign promises to dairy farmers", and others. "They are working very hard".

That is if the Trump administration wants Congress to consider an updated NAFTA before the end of 2018. The White House is increasingly preoccupied with its efforts to reach a peace deal with North Korea and avoid a trade war with China. Senior economic adviser Liu He will be in Washington this week for talks with the administration on ways to resolve the trade dispute between the two countries. The question is whether that deal will be adequate for Trump to back down from his threat of imposing Chinese tariffs, he said.

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