Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

No new NAFTA deal this week, but 80 per cent chance for early May: Mexico minister

Mexico’s economy minister on Monday said he saw an 80 per cent chance of a new NAFTA deal by the first week of May, and said in a TV interview that conditions were not right for reaching an agreement this week.

Ildefonso Guajardo said U.S. negotiators were under pressure to strike a new deal by the first week of May in order to give U.S. Congress members time to discuss a reworked North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), given that the makeup of both chambers will change after U.S. midterm elections in November.

“We’re weeks away,” Guajardo said. “We should know if we will be able to close this by the first week of May at the latest. ... There’s a very high probability, about 80 per cent, that we reach an agreement in principle.”

Story continues below advertisement

Guajardo added that the eighth round of talks was now largely irrelevant.

“We’re in a type of permanent round,” he said. “The technical groups are working on areas like the automotive rules of origin.”

Negotiations to rework NAFTA began last year after President Donald Trump took office promising to take the United States out of the 1994 agreement if it could not be reworked to better serve American interests. Talks continue this week in Washington.

Reuters reported on Sunday that talks to rework NAFTA are not advanced enough for the United States, Mexico and Canada to announce a deal “in principle” at the April 13-14 Summit of the Americas in Lima, according to two people familiar with matter.

Report an error
We have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We expect to have our new commenting system, powered by Talk from the Coral Project, running on our site by the end of April, 2018. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to