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Trump is cracking the Mexico-Canada united front on NAFTA

Trump is cracking the Mexico-Canada united front on NAFTA

The Trump administration has driven a widening crack between the united front that Mexico and Canada maintained throughout the past year during the negotiations to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexican officials are getting increasingly impatient with Canada’s refusal to assent to its bilateral deal with the U.S. and appear to be warming up to the idea of separate bilateral deals with its NAFTA trading partners.

"Mexicans feel like they are the ones that had to put up with more pressure from the United States, that the demands that they had to put up with were greater than the ones that the U.S. is making of Canada," said Juan Carlos Hidalgo, senior analyst for Latin American policy at the free-market Cato Institute. "Certainly there is a perception in Mexico that Canada should be more collaborative. There is a growing frustration on the Mexican side with Canada."

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The U.S. is currently locked in negotiations with Canada to gain its assent as a NAFTA partner to a bilateral trade deal the administration struck with Mexico last month. Little progress has been made, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer saying Tuesday, "There is still a fair amount of distance between us. There are very large issues. … We are sort of running out of time."

The administration has until the end of the month to get the trade deal approved by Congress if it wants it to get it cleared before current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who negotiated it, steps down from […]