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United States pushing for deal to revise NAFTA as deadline looms

United States pushing for deal to revise NAFTA as deadline looms

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.

Reaching an updated NAFTA deal before Thursday's deadline is looking unlikely, Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said today. "We don't think it will happen by Thursday", Guajardo said during an interview at a morning television news program.

The latest survey comes as U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators expressed increasing pessimism that they can come up with a re-write of the 1994 NAFTA accord demanded by President Trump in the coming days.

United States House Speaker Paul Ryan set the cut-off date last Wednesday amid some optimism that Mexico, the US and Canada could soon reach an agreement in principle as a result of meetings attended last week by the chief trade representatives in Washington.

Guajardo's successor, should López Obrador become Mexico's next president, said last month that an incoming AMLO administration would be willing to accept a new NAFTA deal that was struck before July 1.

Mexico's peso sank to its weakest level in over a year on Tuesday, and the country's benchmark stock index fell about 1 percent to its lowest since early April.

He says Trudeau told the US president that the ingredients are there for a deal, but Guajardo also says the American side needs to drop some of its impractical proposals.

Federico Fernandez returns for Swansea City at Bournemouth
Swansea may well have been level five minutes before the break but Jordan Ayew couldn't covert brother Andre's ball into his path. They actually looked the more likely to score late on, and they nearly did.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on Monday and discussed the possibility of bringing the NAFTA talks to a "prompt conclusion", Trudeau's office said.

"The conditions are still not there at this time", affirmed Guajardo, who heads Mexico's negotiating team.

However, talks still faced the hurdles of US demands for a sunset clause that would allow NAFTA to expire if it is not renegotiated every five years, and the elimination of settlement panels for trade disputes. "The problem is there needs to be flexibility from the parties", Guajardo said.

Ross, who is not directly involved in the negotiations, alluded to the idea that talks could still be in progress on June 1, when a USA steel and aluminum tariff exemption for Canada and Mexico expires.

"However, I would not rule out at any point, if the participants show the willingness, that we can settle this negotiation at any moment from the close of May onwards, or in June", the minister told Mexican radio.

Irrespective of the May 17 date mentioned by Ryan, there was still time to ratify a new NAFTA this year, Smith added.

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