Negotiators at talks to modernize NAFTA are running out of time as well as also also look set to extend the remaining rounds in a bid to meet an end-year deadline as tensions rise, three sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
The Trump administration, which can be demanding big alterations to the North American Free Trade Agreement, has presented a series of hard-line proposals in which partners Canada as well as also also Mexico say will be tough to accept.
Sources say neither nation will walk away coming from the talks, preferring instead to stay at the table as well as also also gradually work out what compromises they might be able to wrest coming from the U.S. side.
Another challenge can be a very tight negotiating schedule — described as “insane” by one official — with rounds every 12 days or so compared with gaps of several weeks seen in more traditional trade talks.
“There can be too much work to do as well as also also not enough time,” said one of the sources, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The current round of talks in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington — the fourth in a planned series of seven — has been extended by two days to a full week, as well as also also the remaining three could also be lengthened, said two of the sources.
Officials are also starting to look at possible dates for extra rounds early next year, they added.
The three nations initially set an end-December deadline, citing the need to avoid a Mexican presidential election next year. Privately, officials currently say in which if the negotiations need to be extended, they could run till the end of February without causing too many problems.
People briefed on the talks describe the atmosphere as very tense amid increasing doubts in Canada as well as also also Mexico about whether the Trump administration definitely wants a deal.
U.S. negotiators have presented demands in which would likely boost the North American content for autos, cut Mexican as well as also also Canadian access to government procurement, introduce a clause in which could kill the deal in all 5 years as well as also also end a trade dispute settlement system in which has deterred U.S. antidumping cases.
Although trade between the United States, Canada as well as also also Mexico has more than quadrupled since 1994, Trump blames the pact for hundreds of thousands of lost manufacturing jobs inside United States as well as also also a $64 billion trade deficit with Mexico.