U.S., Mexico may be nearing a deal; Sides are close on new NAFTA agreement, but thorny issues with Canada remain.

08/17/18 Los Angeles Times

trudeauThe Trump administration is close to striking a deal with Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, analysts said, but thorny issues are yet to be resolved with Canada, the third party in the trilateral pact.

Reaching an agreement with Mexico would mark a breakthrough for the administration after a year of roller-coaster talks and tension with its longtime North American trading partners. President Trump has frequently threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, linked the renegotiations to his call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and slapped tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel to apply pressure to make concessions.

But both Mexico and the U.S. have strong incentives to push through a deal quickly. Mexico wants to lock in an agreement before its new leftist president takes office, and the White House is keen on achieving a win on trade ahead of the midterm elections.

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Mexico aims to be able to ink NAFTA deal by end-November

07/18/18 Reuters

NAFTA_logoMexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Wednesday that the goal of Canada, the United States and Mexico is to be in a position to sign a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by the end of November.

The three nations have been negotiating to revamp the 24-year-old trade pact since August, but talks have stalled over U.S. demands on autos and other issues, and while negotiators waited out Mexico’s recent presidential election.

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Mexico, Canada welcome hosting 2026 World Cup with U.S. despite frayed ties

06/14/18 Reuters

confed-cup_2005_-_laolawelleThe leaders of Mexico and Canada gleefully cheered winning the right to host the 2026 World Cup jointly with the United States on Wednesday, emphasizing unity at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has frayed relations with the two neighbors during his 18 months in office.

Trump, who as part of a tougher U.S. immigration policy has called for a wall to be built on the country’s southern border and paid for by Mexico, just days ago personally insulted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over a trade dispute.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro suggested to reporters on a conference call that bringing the three countries together was more of a challenge than any Trump effect.

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U.S., Mexico and Canada to Host 2026 World Cup

06/13/18 New York Times

football-ball-sport-soccer-50713.jpegMOSCOW — The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA’s congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid for the tournament and leave Morocco to miss out for the fifth time.

The North American bid collected 134 votes to the 65 for Morocco. One congress member voted for “neither bid.”

The 2026 event will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on Thursday.

Both bids were given a last chance to make their case with 15 minute presentations in front of congress, at the Moscow Expocentre. The north Americans pledged their tournament would generate an $11 billion profit, while Morocco, which has now failed in five bids to host a World Cup, said theirs would make five billion.

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Mexico minister calls for ‘flexibility’ in reworking NAFTA

06/11/2018 Reuters

NAFTA_logoMexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Monday the only way countries re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will find a solution is through “sufficient flexibility” to narrow differences.

Guajardo said U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators will be “engaging strongly” in July to reach an agreement that is “feasible, workable and benefits the three nations involved.

“The only way we will find that solution is if countries involved have sufficient flexibility to be able to find that narrow strip where we have to land,” he said.

“An agreement that does not give us certainty, does not give us rules that have to be obeyed and mechanisms to settle disputes will not be of help for the business community.”

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Hardball Trade Tactics Will Leave US Workers Battered and Bruised

6/6/2018 The Hill

By Earl Anthony Wayne, Public Policy Fellow, Mexico Institute

A long-time U.S. trade guru joked last week that as a rule of thumb, he favors trying to manage only one trade war at a time, not multiple trade conflicts at once as the U.S. is attempting.

As the danger of costly missteps and negative consequences with international partners becomes more evident, the United States needs a serious debate over the current approach and making course adjustments. The alternative could leave the U.S. trying to recoup after paying the price at home and abroad.

The U.S. has imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum targeting nations that are long-time allies and friends in Europe and North America for “national security” reasons, rather than focusing on rival and trade bad-boy China, sparking alarms from pundits and experts from across the political spectrum.

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Mexico Strikes Back, Levying Tariffs on U.S. Pork, Steel, Whiskey

06/05/2018 Bloomberg 

Mexico will begin to tax a range of U.S. products in retaliation for tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum that President Donald Trump announced last week.

The country will slap tariffs of 25 percent on certain cheese products, steel and Tennessee whiskey while imposing taxes of 20 percent on pork, apples and potatoes, according to a resolution published in the Official Gazette early Tuesday.

While other World Trade Organization members are also considering retaliating by targeting iconic American products — such as bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles — the escalating tensions between Mexico and the U.S. may further complicate the renegotiation of the Nafta trade accord.

The peso sank to its weakest in more than a year earlier today on concern the U.S. may leave the North America Free Trade Agreement and try to negotiate two separate free trade deals with Mexico and Canada.

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