United States ‘very close’ to proceeding with Mexico-only trade deal: Trump adviser

Galtero Lara
Setiembre 22, 2018

The U.S. and Mexico already agreed to a deal.

The official, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, also said he hoped Canada would agree to join a U.S. -Mexico trade deal by the end of the month, while saying he thought U.S. lawmakers would support a bilateral deal with Mexico if that did not happen.

During a Fox News interview on Friday, Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said, "We're still talking to Canada, and we're getting very, very close to the deadline where we're going to have to move ahead with Mexico all by themselves".

I worry that politics in Canada is trumping common sense, because there's a very good deal that was designed by Mexico and the U.S.to appeal to Canada and they're not signing up, and it's got everybody over here a little bit puzzled.

"I'm a little surprised that the Canadians haven't signed up yet", Hassett added.

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Canadian trade minister Chrystia Freeland has noted that even with these systems in place, Canada imported five times as much dairy products from the U.S.as it exported to the U.S.

Washington reached a bilateral trade deal with Mexico in late August and is threatening to exclude Canada if need be.

To meet a November 30 deadline for Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the pact, the text of the agreement must be published by October 1, but major differences remain.

"We just had a meeting with Ambassador (Robertt) Lighthizer and his team - we discussed some tough issues today", stated Freeland. Neither Freeland or Lighthizer have commented on when they may meet next. A USTR spokeswoman did not immediately respond to queries about Lighthizer's United Nations meeting schedule.

Investor concerns over the future of the 1994 pact, which underscores $1.2 trillion in annual trade, have regularly hurt stock markets in all three countries, whose economies are highly integrated.

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