Trump hints at making ‘a big trade agreement with Mexico’


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday a deal with Mexico for revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement could be reached shortly.

Could a USA trade deal with Mexico be near?

Trump said on Saturday that Washington could reach agreement with Mexico "soon" as the chief trade negotiator of Mexico's incoming president signaled possible solutions to energy rules and a contentious USA "sunset clause" demand.

Trump says on Twitter that the U.S. -Mexico relationship "is getting closer by the hour" and he says a trade deal "could be happening soon!"

The U.S. -Mexico talks for weeks focused on crafting new rules for the automotive industry, which Trump has put at the center of his drive to rework the 24-year-old deal he says has been a "disaster" for American workers.

Leaving the offices of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer late on Sunday, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Canada would return once bilateral issues were resolved.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland of Canada said earlier in the week that she was encouraged by the progress and would rejoin the talks once bilateral discussions concluded.

The tone has become more cautious since then.

Lopez Obrador, who will take office in December, is the former mayor of Mexico City and a progressive leftist politician, who has not empathized US-Mexico relations as strongly as previous Mexican presidents.

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While a U.S. proposal to increase tariffs on cars imported from Mexico that don't meet stricter new content rules was a sticking point as recently as last week, that issue appeared to be resolved by Thursday.

Even when Canada is asked to rejoin talks, its negotiating team may have to begin without Freeland.

The Trump administration appears to have agreed to limiting an increase in tariffs, to 25 percent, to cars that are manufactured in new plants, and grandfathering existing factories to lower tariffs, according to a Bloomberg report.

The sunset clause is likely to see some type of compromise, said a USA official who asked not to be named.

"We've not really been making any recommendations to the USA government on that topic", he told reporters on a conference call.

"We've adjusted very well the focus, but without changing the content, the substance, and we've arrived at a solution that should be satisfactory for everyone", Seade said.

If three-way talks run into September, final approval of the deal in Mexico will likely pass to Lopez Obrador, because under fast track authority, the U.S. Congress needs 90 days' notice to vote on a new NAFTA once the renegotiation is finished.

"We'll keep standing up for Canadian interests as we work toward a modernized trilateral NAFTA agreement".

"An idea to resolve the impasse is for only certain industries to remain covered by dispute settlement".