U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his two counterparts in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations are back at it in Washington, D.C.
This marks a quick turnaround for the Mexican Economy Secretary and Canadian Foreign Minister, who were just in Washington last week for a meeting that both countries described as “productive.” Negotiators stayed in D.C. over the weekend and kicked off their fourth-straight week of talks on Monday.
One source told Politico that the pace of talks is basically up to Lighthizer, saying “concessions right now can only come from the USTR.” The source added that they haven’t seen any concessions from him yet.
To further complicate things, President Trump once again took to Twitter and warned that the U.S. might make stricter immigration laws in Mexico “a condition of the new NAFTA agreement.” Mexico quickly dismissed the idea, saying it would be unacceptable to condition the renegotiation of NAFTA to migratory actions outside this framework of cooperation.
In spite of the Twitter complication, the outlook is still described as hopeful that the ministers can get a deal done as soon as possible. The quicker it happens, the better the chance of getting an updated pact through Congress this year.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.