August 20

US, Mexico NAFTA Negotiations


President Donald Trump is positioned to make a deal with Mexico on NAFTA.

A deal would mark a positive turnaround after months of stalemate. Discussions have reached their one year anniversary this month.

Any agreement on NAFTA before November’s elections would represent a victory to Trump. It would be a symbol that his strong negotiating tactics have worked.

Mexican negotiators are under pressure to get a deal. The country elected a new President who takes office in December. And they want NAFTA to be signed before then.

Mexico has said Aug. 25 is the date it must have a preliminary agreement ready, for outgoing  President Enrique Peña Nieto to be able to sign the deal before he leaves office.

Sources close to the talks say Mexico appears ready to accept large swaths of a U.S. proposal.

Mexico is also set to accept mandates that a certain percentage of the steel, aluminum and plastic included in vehicle production is also sourced from a NAFTA country.

However, other major aspects of the negotiation remain unfinished. One aspect is the so-called sunset clause, which would end the pact after five years unless the parties opt to continue it.

Canada will ultimately need to come to the table for a NAFTA to be finalized.

Officials from all three countries have said the U.S.-Mexico engagement is not a negative sign toward Canada. But is instead an attempt to work out bilateral issues before bringing Canada back into the discussions.

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