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U.S., Mexico delay trade text for more time to land U.S.-Canada deal

U.S., Mexico delay trade text for more time to land U.S.-Canada deal

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The United States and Mexico abruptly canceled plans to publish the text of their trade agreement on Friday to give Canada and the Trump administration more time to resolve their differences and save the North American Free Trade Agreement as a trilateral pact. Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo delivers a summary of NAFTA negotiations to Mexican Senator Ricardo Monreal during a meeting with senators at the Senate building in Mexico City, Mexico September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the text was delayed due to a “very serious” attempt by Ottawa and Washington to reach a deal.

“In the next 48 hours we will know if we are going to get to a trilateral text or if we are going to have to put forward the text of the bilateral agreement,” Guajardo said in televised remarks to the Mexican Senate.

Guajardo said his U.S. and Canadian counterparts “specifically requested” to delay publishing the text.

The Trump administration had threatened to proceed with a Mexico-only trade pact as U.S. talks with Canada foundered in recent weeks amid deep differences over Canada’s dairy market and a mechanism for settling trade disputes.

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The NAFTA text — either bilateral or trilateral — is due by late Sunday night to meet U.S. congressional notification requirements to allow U.S. President Donald Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the pact by Nov. 30, Pena Nieto’s final day in office.

Mexico’s president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, told reporters in Mexico City […]