US, Mexico 'very, very close' to reaching deal without Canada

US, Mexico ‘very, very close’ to reaching deal without Canada

Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, speaks during a briefing on September 10 at the White House in Washington, D.C. Hassett said on Friday that the US was "very, very close" to signing a trade deal with Mexico but not Canada.

Trade observers say it’s likely that Canada intends to use every minute of time left on the clock before the October 1 deadline, which is meant to give Congress time to quickly approve a deal before a new government with mixed feelings about the deal takes office in Mexico.

Washington reached a bilateral trade deal with Mexico in late August and is threatening to exclude Canada if need be.

"But in the event that the governments of the United States and Canada do not come to an agreement. we would have to maintain the bilateral deal with the United States and seek a similar deal with Canada".

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland arrives at the Office Of The United States Trade Representative in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Asked whether time was running out, Freeland said her focus was getting a deal that was good for Canadians.

Investor concerns over the future of the 1994 pact, which underscores $1.2 trillion in trade, have regularly hurt stock markets in all three nations, whose economies are highly integrated.

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