NAFTA deal could happen in May, says Mexico's Minister of Economy

Ildefonso Guajardo states Mexico has a team fully committed to NAFTA and the negotiations, and claims a deal could be reached in May
NAFTA deal could happen in May, says Mexico's Minister of Economy
Ildefonso Guajardo – Photo: NOTIMEX
10/04/2018
15:09
Mexico City
Notimex
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Mexico's Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, considers there is a “high probability” of reaching a deal on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations in May.

During an interview with journalist Carlos Loret de Mola, Guajardo said there was an “80 percent” chance of reaching a consensus by the first week of May and to get the new NAFTA deal signed 30 days afterward but claimed everything depends on "flexibility."

The Minister of Economy added that the negotiation has a deadline for the United States because “if they fail to reach an agreement by the first week of May at the latest, the negotiation times given by the [U.S] Congress will not allow them to take this agreement to a vote.”

Guajardo said that in this case, the renegotiation would have to continue during the next legislative period, in which there is a possibility of the Republican party losing its majority in Congress and, therefore, the nature of the negotiation would face a radically change.

“Thus the urgency, but where there's urgency, there also has to be flexibility.”

Ildefonso Guajardo added that given the current status of the negotiating, an eighth round would be irrelevant. He confirmed negotiation teams are still meeting, trying to break the deadlock on some key issues.

However, the Minister of Economy added that on the subject of changes to rules of origin in the automotive industry, a new alternative has been proposed.

“Now we're talking about a high salary zone – average salaries of USD$ 15 – which in Mexico we clearly don't have; it's somehow a motivation for Mexico.”

Guajardo added that they are analyzing the proposals of the United States because it's vital that the U.S. first reaches “an agreement with its own companies.”

On the militarization of the border, Guajardo added that the negotiation has been kept going forward regardless of parallel events, claiming Mexico has a team fully committed to NAFTA and the negotiations.
 

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