WASHINGTON, D.C. – While there will be no new NAFTA deal this week, Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy says there should be one by May.
Ildefonso Guajardo is meeting with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and possibly again on Friday at the Summit of the Americas in Peru, according to the Canadian Press.
Some had hoped the summit would give the three countries an opportunity to announce a deal in principle, but negotiators say talks are just not there yet. This week also marks a year since renegotiation on the trade deal began.
The three countries are still hammering out a deal in what Guajardo called a “permeant round” of negotiations on Mexican television this week.
Guajardo estimates there is an 80% chance for a finalized NAFTA deal in the next month, as long as the parties at the table remain flexible.
The last few weeks have seen the United States and President Trump soften their stance on proposals made last Fall, including provisions that would have seen every car sold in the U.S. contain at least 50% American-made parts.
Although the negotiators appear closer to an agreement, trade observers say optimism for a new deal should be tempered with caution because details still need to be worked out in areas like dairy, poultry, and procurement.
President Trump has said in recent weeks that if negotiators cannot reach a deal the U.S. is willing to terminate the agreement.