Mexico: 80 per cent chance of new NAFTA deal announced within a month


WASHINGTON — There’s an 80 per cent chance of a new NAFTA agreement in principle within a month.

That’s according to the Mexican minister leading the file.

Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo tells the Mexican network Televisa that he believes a deal is probable soon.

He says it won’t happen within days, nor — as some had hoped — by the end of this week in time for Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, and Enrique Pena Nieto to make the announcement at the Summit of the Americas in Peru.

But Guajardo says negotiators from all three countries are now speaking constantly in what he describes as a permanent round of talks.

He says it will become clear by the first week of May whether an agreement in principle is possible this spring, after which point the talks could languish until 2019, while Mexico elects a new president and the U.S. elects a new Congress.

Guajardo warns that nothing is guaranteed in this political environment. In an oblique reference to Trump and his social-media habits, Guajardo says policy-makers sometimes find themselves scrambling to respond to the thoughts of a boss shared publicly at 6 a.m.

The Canadian Press