11/16/2017 Dallas News
MEXICO CITY — Officials for Canada, Mexico and the United States will renew talks here Friday, amid a cloud of uncertainty and animosity that hangs over negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.
As the talks drag on, now expected to continue through March, the possibility of any real gains are likely to become even slimmer as elections loom for the three countries, particularly Mexico, which holds presidential elections in July. Crucial midterm congressional elections are in November in the U.S. NAFTA could muddy the campaign waters even more, experts say.
“The window of opportunity is fast closing in,” said Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute, which hosted a top Mexican delegation this week headed by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. “Even if Mexico makes important concessions, President Trump may not contain himself and declare victory by walking away from NAFTA, and that will put Mexico in a very difficult spot because for Trump to win, others have to lose. Mexico is in a real pickle. Elections are at stake here.”