Trump says US-Mexico trade deal could be imminent - worldwide

Mexico's Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo enters the Office of the US Trade Representative during a day of meetings on the NAFTA treaty in Washington

The US and Mexico are trying to work out their bilateral issues before Canada rejoins the talks in an attempt to update the decades-old three-nation agreement.

Negotiators from the United States and Mexico have reached a breakthrough on a key NAFTA sticking point. He says the deal has led to hundreds of thousands of lost American jobs, and he promised to either change it to be more favorable to the US, or withdraw.

The flags of Canada, Mexico and the US are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018.

The Mexico-U.S. discussions have focused on crafting new rules for the automotive industry, which U.S. President Donald Trump has put at the heart of his drive to rework the 24-year-old pact he says has been a "disaster" for American workers.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland of Canada said earlier in the week that she was encouraged by the progress and would rejoin the talks once bilateral discussions concluded.

On his way into Saturday's talks in Washington, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo praised the USA president's "optimism", but remained cautious.

The threat of the 232 auto tariffs, which are widely opposed by US and worldwide carmakers such as GM, Ford, Toyota and BMW, has been seen as an attempt by the U.S.to build leverage in the Nafta talks.

"This (Trump) administration has shown an wonderful lack of both diplomacy and consistency in its dealings with our friends, neighbors and allies, and I don't see that changing", Garza said.

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Other issues that still need to be resolved include the so-called sunset clause, which would kill the deal after five years unless the parties agree to renew it; rules for government procurement; and dispute settlement mechanisms.

And AMLO is not really excited about including the 2013-14 opening of the oil and gas sector enacted by current president Enrique Pena Nieto in the new pact.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (L) look on as Mexico's Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal (R) speaks during a news conference on March 10, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Peña Nieto greeted Trump and called the deal "something very positive for the United States and Mexico" but stressed that Canada must be part of the agreement.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the incoming government of Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants energy investment rules kept out of any new NAFTA.

"Canada, United States and Mexico represent one body with three heads", said Alfredo Duarte, co-founder and president of Dallas-based Taxco Produce Inc., which imports food from Mexico.

Lopez Obrador, who will take office on December 1, took a break from his routine of meetings on Thursday and posted a video of himself on a baseball field, where took a turn at bat and connected solidly on about a half-dozen pitches.

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