Still, Jesus Seade, Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's incoming NAFTA negotiator, said on Tuesday he believed a new NAFTA deal could be reached in the next few months. As the voice of the region's business community, The New England Council believes it is of critical importance that the US continue to work toward a modernized NAFTA, and that the administration should reconsider the tariffs against our partners in Canada and Mexico.
The Canadian government launched a North American Free Trade Agreement challenge to the Trump administration's safeguard duties on solar panels Monday, asserting that the tariffs were imposed illegally.
"We're talking to Mexico on NAFTA, and I think we're going to have something worked out".
Guajardo is due to meet his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday, also to discuss NAFTA.
Morneau said that he sensed "optimism" from Mnuchin about moving forward on NAFTA, and that Mnuchin had assured him that the administration was committed to a trilateral deal despite Trump's suggestion that the United States could move forward with separate bilateral deals.
A senior Canadian official with knowledge of the talks said a major logjam in NAFTA talks is the wage requirements the U.S.is seeking, along with a requirement for 70 per cent North American content in cars manufactured on the continent to qualify for duty-free entry to the US market. Mexico is demanding some sort of structure to grandfather, or exempt, existing plants at least for the short- to medium-term, he said.
The United States is also exploring the possibility of imposing tariffs on auto imports, though Guajardo said it was too early to speculate on how that would play out.
Trump responded, saying: "We are prepared to further address the economic development and security issues that drive migration from Central America, but we must also increase cooperation to protect the rule of law and sovereignty of both our countries".
Trump last week repeated his threat to pursue individual deals with Mexico and Canada, and the three nations still remain far apart on major points nearly a year after the negotiations first began. Both Canada and Mexico are willing to agree to a review of NAFTA however. For Mexico, the expansion is part of a push to diversify its trading partners in the wake of Trump's previous threats to pull out of NAFTA. It said the American and Mexican administrations should work together on trade, migration, development and security.
"That change in Mexico presents us with the opportunity to restart those discussions".