The NAFTA talks are going slowly and the Mexico City round — the seventh of eight planned sets of — negotiations produced little of substance.
Eight days of talks in Mexico’s capital failed to make headway on new rules governing the content of products made in North America, which has been one of the most contentious issues in the talks.
The U.S. negotiator charged with overseeing the so-called rules of origin unexpectedly returned to Washington for consultations early on and did not return. Talks on the matter will be rescheduled before the expected next proper NAFTA round in Washington in early April.
Still, Brady said he was impressed with the progress made during the week, emphasizing it was important to finish negotiating a modern, pro-growth agreement that would boost manufacturing and jobs.
U.S. Representative Roger Marshall, a Republican who traveled with Brady to Mexico, said meetings during the week had closed chapters related to chemicals, communications, and anti-corruption efforts.
“I am very optimistic,” Marshall told reporters after briefings from U.S. trade officials.
Canada’s chief negotiator Steve Verheul said:”For the week we do have successes we can point (to), but we still have got a bit more to do.”
Dave Solverson, a former president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, said the NAFTA region could not afford a trade war, especially when attempting to renegotiate the 24-year-old trade deal.