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NAFTA parties agree to resume talks on May 7


IANS Mexico City
Mexico, Canada and the US have agreed to extend negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and resume talks on May 7 "to speed up the process", Mexico's Economy Ministry has said.
Negotiating teams from the three countries held a series of technical meetings in Washington on April 4-27 that culminated with the agreement, the ministry said in a statement on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Over a period of more than three weeks, the teams deepened the technical work on all of the topics of the negotiation," said the ministry.
The chief negotiators, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, "held various weekly meetings in Washington to follow up on the progress of the talks," the ministry said.
After US President Donald Trump insisted NAFTA be renegotiated in a bid to secure better terms for his country, Mexico and Canada agreed to talks to modernize the 1994 trade deal.
Talks began in August 2017 and following seven rounds, the three sides have reached agreements on six of approximately 30 chapters.
Certain issues have proven more intractable than others, including rules of origin that limit the number of foreign-made parts that can go into an automobile manufactured in North America if it is to be eligible for preferential NAFTA rates.

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First Published: Apr 28 2018 | 7:42 AM IST

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