Mexico trade deal near; Nafta hurdles seen easing, says Trump

The Mexican peso is jumping on hope for NAFTA progress

The Mexican peso is jumping on hope for NAFTA progress

Canada's top diplomat and chief NAFTA negotiator Chrystia Freeland said earlier this week that Canada would rejoin the discussions once the bilateral issues between Mexico and the USA had been resolved.

"Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour", Trump wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Lopez Obrador said on Friday that progress was indeed being made in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump had dubbed a "disaster" for USA workers and industry.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Sunday that he couldn't yet declare victory in bilateral talks with the United States over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

But trade experts say Canada's absence is - at least in part - a tactic by the White House to divide and conquer as it applies extra pressure on Ottawa to accept what could be a less palatable deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau preached some caution on expectations for NAFTA talks Thursday, saying he's encouraged by the latest optimism but won't sign just any deal.

Energy, the Journal reported, was left out of the original NAFTA when it came into force 24 years ago because Mexico's state monopoly on oil didn't allow private investment in the industry.

Earlier in the day, Guajardo said the two countries were "hours away" from squaring away their bilateral differences.

The negotiations are aimed at ironing out bilateral issues and then finalizing the new agreement with Canada, the third NAFTA partner.

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Trump said on Saturday that Washington could reach agreement with Mexico "soon" as the chief trade negotiator of Mexico's incoming president signaled possible solutions to energy rules and a contentious US "sunset clause" demand. The deal created a trilateral trade bloc between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

A spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative's office denied that Lighthizer had softened his position on the sunset clause, without further elaboration. The U.S. and Mexico are pushing for an agreement this month that would give the countries time to sign the pact before Lopez Obrador takes office in December.

"You know, this is too many items that have to be finally solved".

The sunset clause is likely to see some type of compromise, said a USA official who asked not to be named.

"It is no longer what the USA proposed in any way, it is an approach focused on future evaluation and continuation", he said.

Since Mexico's July 1 presidential election, the Mexico-U.S. talks have been complicated by divisions between the incoming and outgoing Mexican administrations over energy policy.

He's spoken of better relations with America's neighbour following the rise of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (ahn-DRAYS' mahn-WEHL' LOH'-pez OH'-brah-dohr).

Long skeptical of foreign companies entering the Mexican oil industry, Lopez Obrador opposed Pena Nieto's energy reform.

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