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US, Mexico and Canada hasten NAFTA talks as elections loom - Pena Nieto

There are concerns U.S.-Mexico relations could get rockier with Pena Nieto, a centrist, unable to seek a second six-year term due to Mexico's term limits


NAFTA deal, NAFTA trade pact, Mike Pence, US Vice President Mike Pence, Canada, Justin Trudeau, Mexico, US, Donald Trump, Us President Donald Trump, Peru, Mexico wall, US border, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Enrique Pena Nieto

The United States, and will expedite in a push to reach a deal in coming weeks, Mexico's said on Saturday after a meeting with the U.S. vice and Canadian

On the sidelines of the Summit of the in Lima, Peru, Mexican Enrique Pena Nieto, U.S. Vice and Canadian said they thought an agreement could be reached before Mexican elections on July 1, although they also said no deadlines had been set.

"We agreed to keep up work towards reaching a deal and to summon our special negotiating teams to accelerate their efforts," Pena Nieto told reporters after meeting Pence.

"It was the same thing I agreed to with Trudeau," Pena Nieto added. "We hope in coming weeks we can reach an agreement."

The three countries, which created the world's largest free trade region by forming the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s, are under pressure to renegotiate the deal before Mexicans elect a new in July.

There are concerns U.S.-relations could get rockier with Pena Nieto, a centrist, unable to seek a second six-year term due to Mexico's term limits.

U.S. has threatened to kill NAFTA if it is not changed to secure better terms for U.S. workers and companies. In Mexico, leftist presidential frontrunner has vowed to cut the country's economic dependence on foreign powers and to put Trump "in his place."

With U.S. mid-term also pending in November, Trudeau said would defer to and the on a timeline.

"Of course, we'd like to see a re-negotiated deal land sooner than later," Trudeau said in a press conference, citing Mexican and U.S. elections as a factor in timing. "We have a certain amount of pressure to try to move forward successfully in the coming weeks."

On Friday, U.S. said provincial elections in in June were also a factor, and that a deal in May was possible.

Trudeau told reporters there has been "potential progress" regarding and "a broad range of things", however, no new details have emerged from the Lima conference on any specific agreements.

On Friday, auto industry executives said U.S. trade negotiators significantly softened their demands to increase regional automotive content under a reworked NAFTA trade pact in an effort to seal a deal in the next few weeks.

After meeting Pena Nieto and Trudeau separately, Pence said he was leaving the summit "very hopeful that we are very close to a renegotiated NAFTA."

"There is a real possibility that we could arrive at an agreement within the next several weeks," Pence said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 03:17 IST