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The US and Mexico are trying to work out their bilateral issues before Canada rejoins the talks in an attempt to update the decades-old three-nation agreement.

There's optimism that the USA and Mexico are close to sorting out their one-on-one sticking points, which would open the door for Canada to rejoin the negotiations.

"A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!"

While Trump has floated the idea of negotiating bilateral trade accords - finalizing one with Mexico before moving to pursue a separate pact with Canada - both Mexico and Canada have said they want to keep a three-nation deal.

Seade said he and Lighthizer last week began discussing a new approach to review the trade pact, that would have longer periods between reviews, providing more certainty for business investments. They include the USA proposal that NAFTA include a five-year sunset clause, which has been flatly rejected by the Trudeau Liberals.

Prior to that, Guajardo said that the two sides were probably "hours" away from reaching a common position, but in the evening he said there was still much work that needs to be done.

For weeks, US and Mexican negotiators have been working to iron out complex bilateral trade concerns while Canada awaits the results and the opportunity to return to the negotiating table.

Oil prices rise for second day, buoyed by fall in USA inventories
It is interesting to note that the USA oil rig count (an indicator of future oil production) has been flat in the past two months. It will be tough for India to import crude oil from other sources with high import costs in the presence of weak Indian rupee.

"The story of these types of things is always defined in the final minute, and I would say that we're practically into the final hours of this negotiation", Guajardo told reporters. Mexico, with its relatively low-wage labor force, is a major production site for many USA manufacturers, especially automobile companies.

"I think it was just a negotiating reality, but there's no question in my mind that it was created to impose maximum leverage - as any negotiator would", said Ujczo, who works for the law firm Dickinson Wright. Lopez Obrador has thanked U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday, Aug. 25, for treating Mexicans with more respect, or at least not saying anything insulting lately.

However, representatives of US agricultural, manufacturing and other sectors have cautioned the White House that walking away could be a blow for the USA economy.

"I think, depending what happens today, we could confirm it", he said.

"It is no longer what the USA proposed in any way, it is an approach focused on future evaluation and continuation", he said.

Since Mexico's July 1 presidential election, the bilateral talks have been complicated by divisions between the incoming and outgoing Mexican administrations over energy policy.

Jesus Seade, an economic advisor to Mexico's incoming president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has been participating in portions of the NAFTA talks. And when AMLO takes office on December 1, he has plans to revise or even delay any new offerings of gas and oil acreage for exploration.


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