Trump's call with Mexican president briefly delayed due to technical difficulties

Adjust Comment Print

Trump however said he wanted to drop the name NAFTA, saying it had "bad connotations" because the United States had been hurt by the agreement.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, and Mexican Secretary of Economy Idelfonso Guajardo, right, walk to the White House on Monday August 27, 2018. "We're going to call it the US-Mexico Trade Agreement".

Instead, the Mexican President Enrique Peña-Nieto, who joined Trump in the Oval Office by speakerphone, emphasized three times the importance of Canada joining the burgeoning agreement.

President Trump added, the move will be an "incredible deal" for both countries, especially for the manufacturing and farming industries.

The apparent deal to revamp parts of the 24-year-old trade deal came after about a year of often-tense negotiations between the two countries.

President Donald Trump had pulled the USA out of the NAFTA pact claiming it was unfair to Americans. Under U.S. trade law, Congress must be notified 90 days before voting on the deal, meaning notification must happen this week to meet the timeline.

The breakthrough between the US and Mexico involved an agreement on the amount of North American content a vehicle must have in orderto pass duty-free across borders. Canada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high.

U.S. Secretary Sonny Perdue is expected to release details of a US$12 billion aid package for the country's agriculture sector on Monday to help counter the negative effects of an ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing that's resulted in stiff retaliatory tariffs against a number of American agricultural products.

Canada's minister responsible for Nafta, Chrystia Freeland, is in Europe this week. Higher labor standards: The new deal would require that 40% to 45% of auto parts in cars sold be made by workers earning at least $16 United States dollars per hour.

President Trump signaled a deal was close at the end of last week and did so again before the announcement Monday morning. The three countries trade more than US$1 trillion annually, much of it under the pact.

The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement resolving key bilateral trade issues.

The NAFTA talks have dragged on for more than a year.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, hailed the "positive step" but said Canada needs to be party to a final deal. He said Canada wants to "negotiate very badly".

Trump says that on Friday, the Mexican deal will go to the lawmakers.

Trump said he would talk to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau soon - though he threatened that it would be easier to put tariffs on Canadian cars instead of including Canada in the agreement with Mexico. The recent push for a deal is in part to have it signed before the new president takes office in December. He has frequently called it "the worst deal" ever made.

Talks will resume at 9am (1300 GMT) Monday, Guajardo said.