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Mexico won't consider negotiations complete until Canada also agrees to a deal, Guajardo said, and that nation's minister hasn't attended talks in the past five weeks.

President Donald Trump's plans to punish carmakers who produce vehicles outside the USA and sell them to Americans are hindering his administration's efforts to close the deal on a new Nafta this month.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the United States could reach a "big Trade Agreement" with Mexico as soon as the incoming Mexican trade negotiator signalled possible solutions to Nafta energy rules and a contentious US "sunset clause" demand.

Earlier Friday, Guajardo said officials were "very far" along in efforts to deal with the US-Mexico issues but added "there are trilateral issues that have to be solved in a trilateral context". He says the deal has led to hundreds of thousands of lost American jobs, and he promised to either change it to be more favorable to the USA, or withdraw.

But after a year of intense negotiations to salvage the 25-year-old pact, the US and Mexico now appear close to a point where Canada - which had been waiting for US-Mexican agreement on auto industry rules - can rejoin the talks.

Meanwhile, Trump said on Saturday that Washington could reach agreement with Mexico "soon" as the chief trade negotiator of Mexico's incoming president signaled possible solutions to energy rules and a contentious United States "sunset clause" demand.

While auto-manufacturing rules have taken center stage as a major point of contention between all parties involved, the big elephant in the room that no one is addressing - except this publication and its parent organization The John Birch Society - is what remaining in NAFTA will mean for US sovereignty.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be travelling to Europe next week on a diplomatic mission that's raising questions about whether Canada expects to return to the bargaining table soon for the three-country NAFTA talks.

He has cautioned that some of the hardest issues were still on the table, including the U.S. demand for a five-year "sunset clause", which would oblige the three countries to renew the pact regularly.

"For some time now, he (Trump) has been very prudent in referring to Mexicans, or he hasn't said offensive things", Lopez Obrador said.

A senior Canadian official told the news agency on Thursday there had been "no indication of flexibility from the USA on this issue". We will just have to wait and see.

Asked about Trump's tweet, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo acknowledged some progress, but told reporters in Washington before beginning another day of talks that the two countries are "not there yet".

This agreement reached in 1994 was renegotiated more than a year ago under pressure of Trump, who called it "the worst trade deal in history" in his first presidential debate.

Lopez Obrador is due to take office on December 1.


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