Mexico's incoming trade negotiator said on Saturday that the United States, in talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, had softened its position on a "sunset clause" that would force a renegotiation of the deal every five years.
Earlier in the day, Guajardo said that officials were "very far" along in efforts to deal with the Mexico-US issues, but added: "There are trilateral issues that have to be solved in a trilateral context".
Since Mexico's July 1 presidential election, the bilateral talks have been complicated by divisions between the incoming and outgoing Mexican administrations over energy policy.
Trump said on Saturday that Washington could reach agreement with Mexico "soon" as the chief trade negotiator of Mexico's incoming president signaled possible solutions to energy rules and a contentious US "sunset clause" demand.
Trump has softened his tone recently both about the trade accord and about Mexico, a nation that he argues has stolen U.S.jobs and done little to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking to the United States. "It is no longer what the U.S. proposed in any way, it is an approach focused on future evaluation and continuation", he said.
Guajardo said he could not declare victory yet. However, on the possibility of a handshake deal, Guajardo said it would have to involve all three countries.
"I think the handshake happens when everybody's done". Despite this, many US companies have pressured the administration not to force any change on that agreement, as their global investments are now protected because of it. The federal government, a few have warned, could find itself forced into deciding whether to accept a less-appetizing deal hashed out between the US and Mexico.
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However, a senior Canadian official told AFP on Thursday there had been "no indication of flexibility from the USA on this issue".
Seade insisted the issue of auto country-of-origin rules was "basically resolved", with only details yet to be finalized.
There are also concerns Canada's two NAFTA partners have gone much deeper into trilateral issues during Ottawa's absence.
Canada has not been part of the most recent discussions.
"We're not negotiating with Canada right now", the president said during a televised cabinet meeting. "One proposal", according to the Journal, "is for existing plants to pay a 2.5% tariff if they fail to meet the requirements but for new plants to face a higher [tariff] rate". But we'll see how that works out.
Industry sources say they are close to agreeing on raising the regional automotive content threshold for tariff-free access under Nafta to about 75% from 62.5%.
Oil and Gas issues create a point of tension Incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged during his campaign to end imports of refined products by 2022.