As Mexico's incoming trade negotiator said that the United States has softened its contentious demand for a NAFTA "sunset clause", President Donald Trump tweeted that the United States could reach a "big Trade Agreement" with Mexico imminently.
"Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour", Trump wrote on Twitter.
If three-way talks run into September, final approval of the deal in Mexico will likely pass to Lopez Obrador, because under fast track authority, the U.S. Congress needs 90 days' notice to vote on a new NAFTA once the renegotiation is finished.
Seade said he and Lighthizer last week began discussing a new review approach, one that would have longer periods between reviews, providing more certainty for business investments. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously has said one of the sticking points is the inclusion of a five-year sunset clause, which would limit the lifespan of the agreement.
The administrations of Trump and Enrique Pena Nieto have been working for five weeks to resolve their bilateral issues so Canada can rejoin the talks to update the decades-old trade pact. A spokesperson for Lighthizer said that there's no deal yet and major issues remain outstanding.
"I would say that we're practically in the final hours of this negotiation". It wasn't but a few years ago that Mexico's vast gas and oil reserves were opened up to worldwide investors and markets.More news: Ronaldo fails to score in Juventus comfortable 2-0 win over Lazio
The U.S.is prepared to negotiate with Canada separately, but like Mexico would prefer to keep the current three-country deal.
US and Mexican negotiators were discussing a number of thorny issues, including Washington's insistence on greater USA content in auto production and how to resolve trade disputes within the confines of a new deal.
"We are very encouraged by what we're hearing from our NAFTA partners", Freeland said in Nanaimo, B.C., where she's taking part in a Liberal government cabinet retreat.
"We're not negotiating with Canada right now", the president said during a televised cabinet meeting.
On Saturday, Lopez Obrador's envoy Jesus Seade told reporters that the nations have resolved concerns that the deal had too many restrictions on how the next government can treat foreign oil companies investing in Mexico. Mexico's current government, which is overseeing negotiations until Obrador takes office December 1, has already agreed to such a chapter.
He's spoken of better relations with America's neighbour following the rise of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (ahn-DRAYS' mahn-WEHL' LOH'-pez OH'-brah-dohr).
Lopez Obrador opposed Pena Nieto's energy reform, and the issue is divisive within his own camp.