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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

US, Mexico and Canada hasten Nafta talks

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The United States, Mexico and Canada will expedite Nafta talks in a push to reach a deal in coming weeks, Mexico's president said on Saturday after a meeting with the US vice-president and Canadian prime minister.On the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, US Vice-President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they thought an agreement could be reached before Mexican elections on July 1, although they also said no deadlines had been set.

"We agreed to keep up work towards reaching a deal and to summon our special negotiating teams to accelerate their efforts," Pena Nieto told reporters after meeting Pence."It was the same thing I agreed to with Prime Minister Trudeau," Pena Nieto added. "We hope in coming weeks we can reach an agreement."

The three countries, which created the world's largest free trade region by forming the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) in the 1990s, are under pressure to renegotiate the deal before Mexicans elect a new president in July.There are concerns US-Mexico relations could get rockier with Pena Nieto, a centrist, unable to seek a second six-year term due to Mexico's term limits.

-Reuters, Lima

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