US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says talks with Mexico are on “a pretty rapid track.”
The US and Mexico appear to be getting closer to a deal on NAFTA, a development that could leave Canada with badly weakened leverage in ongoing negotiations.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently said“Our immediate, most close-to-completion negotiations are with NAFTA, particularly with Mexico,” Ross said Monday at a conference in Washington, adding that President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has “wasted no time” appointing a new trade team. “There’s a pretty good chance that we could be on a pretty rapid track with the Mexican talks.”
These comments from Ross come as the US continues to telegraph their intention to push for a deal with Mexico in order to leave Canada’s negotiators in a more desperate situation. In particular, if the US and Mexico reach a deal on auto tariffs, that could put Canada in a very tough spot.
While Mexico has said they support a ‘trilateral’ deal, they have also shown a willingness to meet one-on-one with the US, while Canada stands on the sidelines.
The Trudeau government has faced criticism for rebuffing US attempts to get a one-on-one deal done in 2017, which came at a time when the US was angry at Mexico while feeling fine with Canada. At the time, the Trudeau government expressed “solidarity” with Mexico, a tactic which appears to have backfired as the US and Mexico got closer in negotiations, and increasing anger was directed towards Canadian negotiators.
Photo – YouTube