Mexican negotiators are optimistic about the possibility of getting a NAFTA deal and are hopeful of progress in coming days, the country’s deputy economy minister said ahead of a second ministerial meeting in Washington later this week.
You are going to see hopefully news coming out of Washington in the next few days. There is optimism,” Juan Carlos Baker, deputy economy minister and member of the NAFTA negotiating team, said on Tuesday.
“I would say that we realized there might be conditions for getting a NAFTA deal,” he said in Geneva, where he met other trade allies to discuss possible responses to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to unilaterally impose tariffs on car imports.
Stop-start talks to renegotiate NAFTA have dragged on for more than a year, with similar moments of optimism in the past. The talks recently suffered a setback when Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs, triggering retaliation from Mexico and Canada, and followed by his threat to target cars next.
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said sticking points in the NAFTA negotiations that restarted between Mexico and the United States last week include dispute resolution, auto sector rules and a U.S. proposal to scrap the $1 trillion trade deal if it is not renegotiated every five years.