The three ministers responsible for representing their respective countries during the seemingly never-ending NAFTA talks (what round of talks is this, anyway? Third? Fourth? We forget…) met in Washington on Friday for a last-minute push toward the elusive “agreement in principle” that President Trump had hoped to unveil at this week’s pan-American summit in Lima, Peru.
However, despite the White House’s willingness to cave on one of its most controversial demands pertaining to automobile tariffs, the three sides once again failed to come to a consensus regarding the broad strokes of the deal. Now, Reuters is reporting that – while significant progress has been made this week – talks between the three countries aren’t advanced enough for a big announcement at this week’s summit, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
Talks to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are not advanced enough for the United States, Mexico and Canada to announce a deal “in principle” at this month’s Summit of the Americas in Lima, according to two people familiar with matter.
The ministers responsible for NAFTA met on Friday in Washington, and said progress had been made on reworking the accord.
But there was still too much to do unveil an agreement at the April 13-14 summit, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
U.S. President Donald Trump, his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are due to attend the Lima gathering, and officials have held out hope for substantive progress on the renegotiation before the meeting.
Spokespeople for the Mexican economy ministry and Canada’s foreign ministry declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the White House has hinted at the possibility of a breakthrough, only for it to swiftly be made apparent that the three sides remain about as far apart as they’ve ever been.