Mexican authorities confirmed Wednesday that a re-designed NAFTA deal with the United States may be “hours away,” adding a trade “solution” between the two nations is rapidly taking shape.
According to Reuters, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo addressed reporters before holding high-level negotiations with his American counterparts, saying “We hope that we’ll have a solution in the next couple of hours, or the next couple of days.”
“Since restarting last month, the talks have focused on settling differences between Mexico and the United States that go to the heart of U.S. President Donald Trump’s complaint that NAFTA has hollowed out U.S. manufacturing to Mexico’s benefit,” writes Reuters.
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the international agreement in recent months, saying unfair trade deals with Mexico and Canada have severely damaged America’s manufacturing base.
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TRUDEAU TURNS: Canadian PM Now SUPPORTS TRUMP on NAFTA
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted Thursday that he now supports President Trump’s revamped NAFTA program; backing the US leader after recent polls showed the liberal politician losing support throughout Canada.
According to Yahoo News, Trudeau signaled his support for a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement this week, telling reporters there was a “high chance” of reaching a new deal.
“We have a high chance of reaching a win-win-win deal for Canada, the United States and Mexico,” said the Prime Minister. “With the pressures of the elections in Mexico, and the US elections, if we could announce something at the Summit of the Americas, that would be great.”
Trudeau’s comments come days after new polls show him losing support in Canada; with the Conservative party gaining ground in recent surveys.
“All of a sudden, we saw this drop,” said the chief executive of Abacus Data, an Ottawa polling firm. “It’s the first time since Trudeau became prime minister that we have results showing the Conservatives slightly ahead.”
AMERICA FIRST: Trump SLAMS EU, Canada, Mexico with STEEL Tariffs
President Trump announced Thursday his plans to levy hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum on key US allies, including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico; making good on a signature campaign promise to help shield American-made products from foreign goods.
Despite the initial plan to exempt North American nations from the tariffs, the administration unveiled the new guidelines after failing to win specific trade deals with both Canada and Mexico.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the new taxes will be a 25% surcharge on steel and 10% on aluminum; adding the tariffs could be removed in future talks while renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
“The European Union has already notified the World Trade Organization of plans to levy duties on $7.1 billion worth of U.S. exports in response, with the aim of collecting $1.6 billion in tariff revenue,” writes Politico.
“We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions,” Ross added.