U.S.-Mexico text may preview Canada's NAFTA prospects

U.S.-Mexico text may preview Canada’s NAFTA prospects

The U.S. trade representative is expected to soon post text online that will lay out more of what Mexico has agreed to so far in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

While Robert Lighthizer portrayed the preliminary agreement in principle announced in late August as exclusively bilateral, it may include at least a dozen chapters reportedly closed between all three NAFTA partners.

That means that at least indirectly, the document expected online sometime Friday or over this weekend may reveal more than has been previously confirmed about Canada’s negotiations to date.

Mexican government officials have sent mixed signals on whether some of what they agreed to is viable without Canada. Nevertheless, Mexico has not opposed the Trump administration’s moves to proceed.

Lighthizer said during an event in New York on Wednesday that even though the Donald Trump administration is moving towards signature on its progress with Mexico, talks with Canada will continue.

"If we can’t get an agreement with Canada, we’re not going to walk away from one with Mexico. It makes no sense," he said.

As for Canada, "we’ll have to do something separately as soon afterwards as we can," he told the Concordia Summit. "We’re certainly not going to give up."The USTR is required to post text of an agreement for signature 60 days in advance, meaning this weekend is the deadline. The outgoing Mexican president leaves office on Dec.1.Missing this window would be "unfair to all the people involved," Lighthizer said, adding Americans don’t know how negotiations might go […]

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