NAFTA talks with USA 'very far' along: Mexico's Guajardo

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President Donald Trump said the USA may be on the verge of a "big trade agreement" with Mexico as the Nafta representative of that nation's president-elect signaled that the thorny issue of rules for the energy industry seems to be resolved.

On Saturday, he said the US "relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour" in a tweet that made no mention of Canada.

Mexico's president-elect also said that bilateral talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement "are on a good track".

Guajardo is hopeful that a favorable agreement for all parties will be reached shortly, according to Bloomberg.

Mexico's negotiating team has been in close contact with the private sector during the past year of NAFTA talks. However, on the possibility of a handshake deal, Guajardo said it would have to involve all three countries. However, disputes between the United States and Mexico may again develop if Washington pressures Mexico to include a new chapter on energy in a final NAFTA deal.

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Both U.S. and Mexican trade officials hope to complete their negotiations soon so that they can present a deal for Canada to consider before Mexican President Peña Nieto leaves office on December 1.

Donald Trump on Saturday hinted that the USA and Mexico were on the verge of reaching an agreement in the NAFTA negotiations that are expected to go on through the weekend, but there are a number of issues that have yet to be resolved.

The U.S. proposed that the tribunal is only in place for certain industries while excluding others.

But Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said last week that Ottawa backed the idea of Washington and Mexico City hammering out differences before Canada resumed its participation. "And [it] will be happy to do that, once the bilateral US-Mexico issues have been resolved".

"It was a rich, fun, important negotiation, from which everything emerged in a very satisfactory way for all involved", Seade told reporters after returning to Washington following meetings with the incoming administration in Mexico City on Thursday.

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Officials on both sides have insisted that talks in Washington this week between the US and Mexico have been going well with the White House eager to make an announcement of a bilateral deal as soon as this week.

The "sunset clause" - an automatic cancellation of all agreements after five years - has been a major demand from the US administration, but Mexico believes it can agree to a renegotiated version of this.

A senior Canadian official told the news agency on Thursday there had been "no indication of flexibility from the United States on this issue".

"Canada, United States and Mexico represent one body with three heads", said Alfredo Duarte, co-founder and president of Dallas-based Taxco Produce Inc., which imports food from Mexico.

Lopez Obrador, a leftist populist who was elected in a landslide on July 1, said Friday that the NAFTA talks were proceeding well.

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