Mexico expects NAFTA talks by late August: economy minister
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Tuesday he expects U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to tell Congress early next week of plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a move that would produce talks by late August.
Guajardo said he would have more information after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Vietnam on Thursday as part of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.
During the 2016 U.S. election campaign, Trump vowed to scrap the 1994 deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico if he cannot adjust it to benefit U.S. interests.
“Probably the notification will be sent to Congress by the U.S. executive at some time early next week,” Guajardo told Mexican media on Tuesday a day after meetings in Washington with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other U.S. officials.
The Mexican official also said that a dispute over sugar with the United States could be resolved within two weeks, before a June 5 deadline to break the impasse.
The U.S. sugar industry pressed the U.S. Commerce Department late last year to withdraw from a 2014 agreement that sets prices and quotas for U.S. imports of Mexican sugar unless the deal could be renegotiated. The U.S. sugar lobby wants Mexico to export less refined sugar, a position emboldened since Trump took office.
On Monday, Mexico’s sugar chamber said no deal had been reached in talks on Monday to resolve the dispute.
(Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Grant McCool)