BREAKING NEWS—White House expected to announce NAFTA deal with Mexico: report - Global Trade Magazine
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  August 23rd, 2018 | Written by

BREAKING NEWS—White House expected to announce NAFTA deal with Mexico: report

Sharelines

  • Mexico insists that any NAFTA deal announcement must include Canada as well.
  • Trump doesn’t have a good track record delivering results from so-called deals.
  • USTR: “There are major issues outstanding” between the US and Mexico on NAFTA.

The White House is expected to announce that a “handshake deal” has been reached with Mexico in the NAFTA negotiations, according to reporting by Politico.

The announcement is expected to be made by the United States alone, as Mexico insists that any deal announcement must include Canada as well. The announcement is also expected to indicate when Canada will rejoin the talks.

So is a deal really imminent? Regardless of the expected White House announcement, only time will tell. President Donald Trump doesn’t have a good track record delivering results from so-called deals, witness his “deal” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, which, by all accounts, has yielded absolutely nothing.

According to Politico, the announcement is expected to say that the US and Mexico have made sufficient progress to announce the so-called handshake deal.

But there is reason for skepticism, as noted above. For one, Mexican representatives are not expected to attend the announcement, which doesn’t make for much of a handshake, even as a photo op. The sources Politico relied on also indicated that the schedule could change, based on the outcome of a meeting held yesterday between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo. So far, there has been no announcement of any results from that meeting. Furthermore, as of Tuesday, the office of the USTR said that no deal had yet been reached, adding according to Politico, that “there are major issues outstanding.”

The schedule could change also, according to Politico, because the White House is distracted by the fallout from the guilty plea of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

The issues that have divided the US and Mexico concerning NAFTA have revolved around rules of origin for vehicles. The US wants more North American content to be required for vehicles to receive NAFTA benefits and wants to add new requirements that a certain percentage of each car be produced by workers earning at least $16 an hour.

The Mexicans have been pushing for a preliminary NAFTA deal before the end of August, so that it could be finalized by President Enrique Peña Nieto before he leaves office on December 1.

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