US, Mexico, Leaving Canada behind in NAFTA Talks

US, Mexico, Leaving Canada behind in NAFTA Talks

The United States and Mexico are nearing a deal on the key issue of autos content rules at talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexican and Canadian officials said on Wednesday.

"What does that mean?. Of 100% of cars made in NAFTA [countries], it could be around 35% or 40% are made in a high-wage area." he added.

In order to qualify for tariff-free status in the North American market, the United States is pushing for 40% of the content of cars and 45% of the content of pickup trucks to be made by workers who are paid at least USA $16 per hour.

But again, the election of AMLO may make a trilateral agreement more hard to reach, particularly if tensions over illegal immigration and the detention of people trying to cross from Mexico into the US continue.

Mexican negotiators are optimistic about the possibility of getting a NAFTA deal and are hopeful of progress in coming days, the country's deputy economy minister said ahead of a second ministerial meeting in Washington later this week.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is not taking part in the current round of talks, as Mexico and the United States try to thrash out an agreement on including more North American content in autos made in the region, and possibly increasing wages.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Lighthizer, declined to comment on the automotive negotiations. While Mexico was willing to accept 70 percent of vehicle components coming from the US, up from the current 62.5 percent, the USA called for 75 percent. The current rate is 62.5%.

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Guajardo, who has said in recent days he thought the outline of a deal could be agreed in August, is due in Washington to talk with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday. The Mexican official said they are together working with Canada to rebuff U.S. efforts to link a resolution of possible auto tariffs with a full NAFTA agreement.

This is supposedly a pathway to a NAFTA deal.

Malpica said that Mexico has instead suggested that the trade pact be "reviewed" every five years while Bird said that "any one country being able to hold the agreement hostage every five years does not provide the certainty" businesses need to invest.

The Mexican peso spiked 0.2% today on the latest NAFTA news but later dipped.

Last week, Lighthizer told a U.S. Senate panel that it wasn't "unreasonable" for an updated NAFTA deal to be concluded by the end of August.

In continuing to insist upon a trilateral agreement, Canada risks seeing the Trump administration walk away from the negotiations prior to the midterm congressional elections in October, to solidify the support of American voters sympathetic to the president's mercantilist view of trade relations and his anti-immigration stance.

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