NAFTA negotiations to extend into next year
Top U.S., Mexico and Canada officials agree that talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement will go into next year amid disagreements over how best to change the deal.
In a joint statement following the fourth round of talks, American, Canadian and Mexican officials said “significant conceptual gaps” will change the negotiating timeframe.
“New proposals have created challenges and ministers discussed the significant conceptual gaps among the parties,” Lighthizer said, reading the joint statement at the close of the fourth rounds of talks Tuesday. “Ministers have called upon all negotiators to explore creative ways to bridge these gaps. To that end, the parties plan on having a longer inter-sessional period before the next negotiating round to assess all proposals.”
Mexico will host the the fifth round of talks on November 17-21.
Mexico and Canada “firmly rejected” U.S. proposals for NAFTA renegotiation in a meeting today with top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer, CNBC reported. Sources told CNBC that despite their objections, the two countries will not walk away from the negotiations.
“That move leaves the ball in the White House’s court to decide how it wants to proceed with negotiations,” CNBC’s report says.