US, Mexico NAFTA negotiators to resume talks next week - minister

US, Mexico NAFTA negotiators to resume talks next week - minister

"Will tax cars if we can't make a deal!" the president continued, likely referencing the trade spat between Canada and the USA that resulted in new tariffs being placed on American imports to the Great White North in July. He described the newly elected Mexican president as "an absolute gentleman". "And then the idea will be can we get a big trade deal prior to [Donald Trump's] next election" in 2020, Farley said.

Trump took a different tact, however, with Canada.

The president tweeted that an agreement with Mexico "is coming along nicely".

Trump says, "Canada must wait".

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo speaks to the media during a news conference at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, Mexico May 1, 2018.

In response, Canadian officials announced "dollar for dollar" retaliatory tariffs, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called them at the time, to the tune of over C$16 billion in US imports.

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But Canadian officials have insisted Ottawa hasn't been sidelined during the U.S. -Mexico discussions, arguing there have been lots of bilateral talks between NAFTA partners during the year-long renegotiation process.

Asked about progress on autos rules of origin, he said: "Nothing is close until everything is close, but there are items in every element that is being discussed".

"The next obvious question is, do we have a firm date of Canada physically going to join the talks?"

Before he entered the meeting, Guajardo said Mexico was getting close to overcoming sticking points with the United States. "And the answer is no, as long as the US and Mexico have not resolved their issues, specifically auto".

The issues the two countries are hammering out include what percentage of auto industry components need to be made in North America to avoid tariffs, and how many cars and trucks need to be made in factories paying higher wages.

Bilateral NAFTA negotiations between the US and Mexico have been building momentum in recent weeks after taking a break in late May ahead of Mexico's July presidential election.

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