NAFTA Talks Encroaching on Congressional Deadline

A New NAFTA Deal Doesn't Seem Close, Despite Deadline

Lighthizer Said to Be Pessimistic on Meeting Nafta Deadline

"They're ongoing now and we're pushing forward and hopeful that we can get something done soon", said Sanders.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is of topic today being the deadline set where House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Lighthizer said he would continue to work toward "the best possible deal for American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses". But that could be politically damaging: The trade agreement benefits Republican-held states where agriculture is a big business, since Mexico and Canada are big buyers.

Negotiators from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have nothing to show for their efforts despite meeting all week in Washington DC to coming up with a deal, knowing that time was running short to get a deal through Congress in this legislative session.

There was no immediate reaction to Lighthizer's comments from the offices of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

"However, I would not rule out at any point, if the participants show the willingness, that we can settle this negotiation at any moment from the close of May onwards, or in June", the minister told Mexican radio.

The lack of an agreement doesn't mean the NAFTA talks are dead - Mexico and Canada have downplayed the need to reach a deal this week, with negotiators saying a series of challenges remain after about nine months of formal discussions.

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For that to happen, though, the United States and Mexico would have to end what officials say is deadlock over USA demands to raise wages in the auto sector and boost the North American content of cars made in the three NAFTA nations.

Chief Mexican NAFTA negotiator Kenneth Smith said that the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto had a responsibility to keep negotiating until Mexico's new president, who will be elected on July 1, takes office on December 1.

NAFTA is bearish for Mexican peso and the Loonie.

That is if the Trump administration wants Congress to consider an updated NAFTA before the end of 2018. The U.S. International Trade Commission then has up to 105 days after the signing to produce a study on the effects of the agreement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan warned a new NAFTA deal had to be completed by Thursday, but Donald Trump's trade chief told lawmakers he expects that deadline will not be met.

Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of CT on Wednesday urged negotiators to continue their talks, saying Ryan's deadline is arbitrary.

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