Trump calls for quick NAFTA deal in letter to Mexico president-elect

27 July, 2018, 10:02 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Marcelo Ebrard picked by Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as foreign minister shows the letter sent by U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference at his campaign headquarters in Mexico City Mexico

The letter was delivered during a recent meeting in Mexico with senior USA officials, and details were disclosed once Trump had received it, said Lopez Obrador, a leftist who won Mexico's July 1 presidential election in a landslide.

Mexican officials disclosed existence of the letter on Sunday, after President Trump received it during a meeting between senior officials of both countries held in Mexico, Reuters reported. An agreement depends on US willingness to back off proposals that are opposed by Mexico, Canada and American business groups, such as an automatic expiration of the deal after five years and the end of dispute resolution panels, according to the people.

Seade, a former deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization, said he had a "very good relationship" with Lighthizer, referring to him as a "friend" he had known for years, which should help them find common ground.

This is an all hands on deck approach’ Trudeau responds to Harper’s comments on NAFTA strategy
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The letter was made public just a few days before the U.S., Mexico, and Canada are set to talk about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The office of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had no immediate comment on the letter. The U.S.is now gearing up for mid-term congressional and senate elections in November. "I don't think it's going to happen".

Mexico is heavily dependent on the United States as an export market and Trump's threats to pull out of NAFTA have rattled investors and put pressure on the peso currency.

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A senior Canadian official with knowledge of the talks said a major logjam in NAFTA talks is the wage requirements the U.S.is seeking, along with a requirement for 70 per cent North American content in cars manufactured on the continent to qualify for duty-free entry to the US market.

The United States is also exploring the possibility of imposing tariffs on auto imports, though Guajardo said it was too early to speculate on how that would play out.

Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports were still casting a shadow on NAFTA talks, Morneau said.

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Last week, Trump mused about separate deals with Canada and Mexico. Both Canada and Mexico are willing to agree to a review of NAFTA however.

Paris said Obrador's message is a welcome development, "but it won't reduce Canadians' apprehensions about President Trump and his administration". The Americans presented this as an agreement with Mexico on subjects such as auto content rules and challenged the Canadian government to respond before Ottawa learned there in fact was no deal and that Mr. Videgaray had only been speaking hypothetically to the new US administration.

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