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NAFTA Deadline Arrives With Little Prospect for an Agreement

NAFTA Deadline Arrives With Little Prospect for an Agreement

The Americans, believing the Mexicans would bend on the automobile rules to get a deal quickly, insisted on a toughened position last week and the Mexicans responded by rejecting the proposal, saying they would rather have no deal than a bad deal, according to officials briefed on the talks.

Dan Ujczo, an global trade lawyer, told Politico that to reach an agreement, negotiators may have to concede to a "skinny NAFTA", one without addressing key issues including reducing the trade deficit, preventing job outsourcing and providing better market access to Canada for US dairy farmers.

" "The calendar made me do it" is not an excuse to quit on the American worker", she said.

"It's NAFTA because Canada and Mexico are fundamental allies", Selig, undersecretary of commerce for worldwide trade under President Barack Obama, told Liz Claman on FOX Business.

Earlier Wednesday, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said a deal by Thursday was practically impossible, but it was possible to reach one later this month or early June and still pass it under the current U.S. Congress.

The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, had said he needed negotiators to reach a deal by Thursday if Congress was to approve a new version of the 1994 trade agreement this year, while the Republicans have a majority. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland's spokesman called the deadline a US issue.

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Videgaray said there had been "important advances" in the negotiations and that the United States had ceded ground on some of its demands.

In fact, speaking in NY today, Canada's Trudeau, who is feeling positive about NAFTA, said that it has been incredibly positive for all 3 nations and that there is good NAFTA deal on the table.

Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of CT on Wednesday urged negotiators to continue their talks, saying Ryan's deadline is arbitrary.

Chief Mexican NAFTA negotiator Kenneth Smith said that the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto had a responsibility to keep negotiating until Mexico's new president, who will be elected on July 1, takes office on December 1.

"My guess", he added, "is there is probably some wiggle room at the ITC for what it takes for their part of the process but not an indefinite amount and that means time is really of the essence".