Mexico’s main negotiator in the revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Kenneth Smith Ramos, revealed via Twitter he’s back in Washington to rejoin the talks, all while senior officials of the outgoing federal administration reiterated they’re ready to seek a new deal with the United States, with or without Canada.
The official and his team plan to keep hammering out the agreement between the U.S. and Mexico so that President Donald Trump gets to sign it at the end of November. This is the first time a high-level Mexican negotiator rejoins the talks since both countries announced a preliminary deal at the end of August.
Mexico still hopes for a new NAFTA that includes Canada, but also foresees the possibility that the northern neighbor will not remain in the trade bloc, Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters in Mexico City on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
According to Canadian paper The Globe and Mail, talks between Ottawa and Washington remain deadlocked over U.S. access to the heavily protected Canadian dairy market and the future of the binding Chapter 19 dispute-settlement mechanism.
Meanwhile, Mexico wants to end to a tariff dispute over steel and aluminum with the United States prior to signing the new deal.