U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday that none of the contentious issues in a new NAFTA trade deal appear to have been resolved, diminishing chances of meeting a Thursday deadline to notify U.S. lawmakers of an agreement.
Ross, who is not directly involved in the negotiations, alluded to the idea that talks could still be in progress on June 1, when a USA steel and aluminum tariff exemption for Canada and Mexico expires.
Ildefonoso Guajardo told his country's Televisa network that he doesn't see a deal happening by Thursday, which the U.S. Congress calls the latest possible date to get a deal in order to have time to vote on it this year.
"You have to continue to negotiate and the moment you reach a good negotiation, close the deal", he added.
Mexico had been pushing to secure at least the general terms of a deal before the Mexican presidential election on July 1.
A USTR spokeswoman, asked if the three ministers would meet again this week, said: "We have no announcements at this time".
The currency fell to its lowest level in more than a year yesterday and some analysts believe that it will continue to decline in the lead-up to the election, which according to opinion polls, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is likely to win. "So depending on where we are on NAFTA on June 1, the president will decide whether or not to extend their situation", Ross said.
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A report in Canadian media said Trudeau make a direct appeal to Trump to keep momentum alive at the negotiating table.
However, if that doesn't happen, Graciela Márquez said, it would be preferable to complete the negotiations after the new president is sworn in in December. "The problem is there needs to be flexibility from the parties", Guajardo said.
Guajardo said that negotiators were close to reaching agreement on rules of origin for the auto sector.
Among the issues the three sides have yet to agree on is a USA proposal to include a so-called sunset clause that would allow the deal to automatically expire every five years, pending renewal.
President Donald Trump is committed to getting a better agreement with Canada and Mexico, press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News.
Trudeau also says there are some points of view that will never be valid, including those who commit female genital mutilation and those who deny that climate change is real.
Kenneth Smith, the head of Mexico's technical negotiating team, reiterated in a radio interview that from Mexico's perspective there are no fixed deadlines it is working towards.