Rest of the world will pass us by if NAFTA countries don't work together: Automotive Parts Manufacturers
The Trump administration is pushing for a preliminary Nafta deal to announce at a summit in Peru next week, and will host cabinet ministers in Washington to try to achieve a breakthrough, according to three people familiar with the talks.
The White House wants leaders from Canada and Mexico to join in unveiling the broad outlines of an updated pact at the Summit of the Americas that begins Apr. 13, while technical talks to hammer out the finer details and legal text could continue, according to the people. They asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
The Mexican peso trimmed its losses in late New York session on news of the meetings, rallying from a session low 18.355 per U.S. dollar toward 18.20.
The three nations face a challenge to meet the U.S.’s goal because major divisions remain, including on the U.S. proposal for more North American content in automobiles. The White House declined to comment on plans to announce a deal for the North American Free Trade Agreement.
America’s eagerness to strike a deal on its biggest trade pact comes as U.S. stocks tumbled, falling in seven of their last 10 trading sessions on concerns Trump’s protectionism could spark a trade war. The White House in the past month has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and announced plans to slap duties on Chinese goods over alleged intellectual-property violations.
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will travel to Washington for meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday, the people said. Some meetings could also include U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who have been managing the relationship between President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto, according to two of the people. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will arrive on Thursday for her own meetings with Lighthizer, and meetings on Friday may include all three countries, the people said.
Negotiators from Mexico and Canada have been expecting an eighth round of Nafta talks to start in Washington next week, though Lighthizer has pushed back against the idea and hasn’t yet sent an official invitation, according to the people. He says the three can make the most progress by holding regularly scheduled meetings between smaller groups of negotiators, they said.
“Canada is committed to concluding a modern, mutually beneficial Nafta as soon as possible,” said Adam Austen, a spokesman for Freeland, while declining to comment on her schedule. Press offices of the Mexican economy ministry, foreign ministry and USTR declined to comment.