MEXICO CITY – Talks with the United States and Canada on revising the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement are on solid footing after an initial period of uncertainty, Mexico’s finance secretary said on Monday.
The process is “on track, there is method and dialogue,” Jose Antonio Gonzalez told a press conference.
“A year ago, we didn’t know exactly what was going to happen,” he said, alluding to uncertainty as to whether US President Donald Trump would seek to revise NAFTA or just scrap the trilateral trade pact.
Trump, long an outspoken critic of the accord, continues to say that he is prepared to see NAFTA perish if it can’t be modified to his satisfaction.
“Today we have six rounds of successful negotiations and three chapters concluded, chapters with important accords,” Gonzalez said of the NAFTA talks.
The original plan called for concluding the renegotiation last year to avoid NAFTA’s becoming an issue in the 2018 Mexican presidential campaign or this year’s mid-term congressional elections in the US.
But representatives of the three nations announced last October at the end of the fourth round of talks that the negotiations would continue into 2018 in the face of “significant conceptual gaps among the parties.”