Lighthizer: 'Skinny' NAFTA deal unlikely; some 'backsliding' in talks

As US deadline passes Mexico says NAFTA deal still doable

USA trade chief Robert Lighthizer has expressed some frustration on Thursday, as reported by Reuters, as the US' self-imposed deadline for a deal on NAFTA has slipped by without anybody seeming to care, and the NAFTA renegotiations continue to drag on.

BridgePark Advisors managing partner Stefan Selig on how the uncertainty of obtaining a deal on NAFTA could impact investors' portfolios. "As I said last week, there are gaping differences on intellectual property, agricultural market access, de minimis levels, energy, labor, rules of origin, geographical indications, and much more", Lighthizer said in a statement issued by his office. The existing deal remains in force and negotiations will continue, but the window to pass it in the current Congress is about to close as USA attention shifts to other challenges, like the simmering trade dispute with China.

Meanwhile, presidential elections take place in Mexico in July, and the expected victor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is a populist who could take a harder line on NAFTA.

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

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed hopeful, saying Thursday that a deal was "on the table" with just a few more issues to be worked out.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday in NY that Mexico had made proposals that "will go a long way towards reducing the trade deficit the USA has with Mexico and indeed even bringing back some auto jobs from Mexico to the United States".

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers that he wasn't optimistic a Nafta agreement could be completed by Thursday or in the immediate term, two Democratic representatives said on Wednesday. And at least one administration official reportedly said they're not going to work on an artificial timeline for restructuring the deal. "The process is continuing, the technical teams from all three countries are working", said Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.

President Donald Trump is committed to getting a better agreement with Canada and Mexico, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News.

"Any renegotiated NAFTA that implies losses of existing Mexican jobs is unacceptable", Guajardo said on Twitter after congratulating Trudeau for a "great interview".

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan had said that various mandatory review periods under U.S. trade law meant that Thursday was the last day to reach a deal that could be voted on by the Republican-controlled Congress this year. The U.S. International Trade Commission then has up to 105 days after the signing to produce a study on the effects of the agreement.

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