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

Blunt said that stronger automotive content rules emerging from NAFTA negotiations are expected to keep North America competitive as a production base, and that he was "very encouraged" by the direction of U.S-Mexico talks.

But after a year of intense negotiations aimed at salvaging the 25-year-old pact that Trump has previously referred to as a "disaster", the USA and Mexico now appear to be close to a point where Canada can rejoin the talks.

"NAFTA'S not wonderful. It was a awful deal for us". Also, it will up to his government to implement the new deal after he's sworn in as president on December 1. Mexico last month delayed the award of new contracts under the oil-industry opening until Lopez Obrador's team has an opportunity to review them for any signs of corruption. "We'd vote on it in the next Congress".

"We still need to check technical texts, and I want to be respectful of everyone, but it's now substantially agreed, with the correct focus".

"It's not about not touching the energy reform, but it's touching it in the right way", Seade told reporters in Mexico City late Thursday.

A Canadian official declined to comment and referred back to remarks last week from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he was encouraged by optimism coming from the USA and Mexico but won't sign just any deal. "But we're discussing it, and this is going to come out OK".

"The negotiator-in-chief needs to show he can close a trade deal". It won't be easy.

Ujczo said because of political and procedural hurdles on the horizon in the USA and Mexico, the coming week will be crucial for NAFTA's renegotiation. For the past five weeks, the talks between the USA and Mexico have largely focused on narrowing differences over the rules governing auto production in North America.

As Mexico's incoming trade negotiator said that the United States has softened its contentious demand for a NAFTA "sunset clause", President Donald Trump tweeted that the United States could reach a "big Trade Agreement" with Mexico imminently.

Jesus Seade, designated chief negotiator of Mexico's next government, told reporters the new United States position would allow a periodic review of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but without an automatic expiration unless renegotiated every five years.

Lighthizer's media office didn't return an e-mail and voicemail seeking comment.

With signs of progress apparent, the high-level American-Mexican meetings stretched through the weekend.

To those who see soccer as Mexico's national pastime, Lopez Obrador said, "Don't be jealous".

"I would say that we're practically in the final hours of this negotiation", he told reporters as he entered talks at the offices of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.


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