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NAFTA talks are at a 'much better' point, says Mexico

From BBC - January 29, 2018

Officials from the US, Canada and Mexico say they have made progress in tense negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Their remarks concluded the latest round of talks, the second-to-last before the negotiations are supposed to end in March.

President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from the treaty, which governs more than $1 trillion in trade.

A Mexican official said the discussions are at a "much better" point.

All three sides agreed to language governing anti-corruption during the latest round, while making progress on customs and food sanitation issues.

"We are at a much better moment," Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said at a press conference in Quebec, Canada.

Analysts had described this meeting - the sixth since August - as a make-or-break moment for the deal.

Officials have said they want to finish negotiations before elections get under way in Mexico and the US later this year.

The sides remain far apart when it comes to some key questions, such as a US demand that cars have a higher proportion of parts made in the US to fall under NAFTA's tariff-free rules.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said officials are starting to discuss those areas, but the talks remain slow-going.

Trade tensions

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