Significant breakthroughs between Mexico and the U.S. came during the past several days on the contentious issues of automobiles and energy, according to three people familiar with the process who asked not to be named discussing private talks.
Along with Canada, they’ve been negotiating for a year to overhaul the 24 year-old accord at the insistence of Donald Trump. The U.S. president says the deal has led to hundreds of thousands of lost American jobs, and he promised to either change it to be more favourable to the U.S., or withdraw.
Trump said Saturday on Twitter that the U.S. could have a “big Trade Agreement” with its southern neighbor soon. The terms of any deal struck by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would need the president’s final approval. Companies operating across North America have worried that some of Trump’s demands could hurt the region’s economy.
Talks continued Sunday at the USTR’s offices in Washington. Arriving at the meeting, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo was upbeat.
“The story of these types of things is always defined in the final minute, and I would say that we’re practically into the final hours of this negotiation,” Guajardo told reporters.
“We’ll do everything possible to try to land a deal.” Guajardo predicted that the U.S. and Mexico would need at least a week of work to resolve issues with Canada whenever the nation re-joins talks.
Mexico’s peso strengthened as much as 0.7% to 18.7789 per dollar in early Asian Monday trading.