Canada, which is a part of NAFTA, was not part of the announcement. Lighthizer noted that any signing would be delayed until Congress was informed and a 90-day waiting period passed. He declined to identify the issue.
Trump said he was open to including Canada - "if they'd like to negotiate fairly".
Jesus Seade, the Nafta representative for Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has predicted that the nations will agree on a softened version of a so-called "sunset clause", an automatic expiration after five years - a key United States demand.
Auto-immunity: Per Reuters, the agreement helps resolve one of the stickiest issues that arose under NAFTA surrounding the rules of origins for cars, which required that a certain percentage of vehicle parts be from countries within the NAFTA region in order to avoid tariffs.
The US presidents said he meant to terminate NAFTA while he pursues trade deals with Mexico and starts negotiations with Canada.
Addressing reporters in the White House Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump praised the preliminary agreement as an "incredible deal" for both countries. "And will be happy to do that, once the bilateral US-Mexico issues have been resolved". "I think NAFTA has a lot of bad connotations for the United States because it was a rip off". The comment from Freeland that a deal needs three signatures sounds weak and desperate.
It's unclear if, and when, trilateral talks between Canada, the United States and Mexico would resume. Mexico also needs to sign off on the deal, and that's all the more complicated because Mexico is in the midst of a change of government.
Which of these political events presents the most risk for a NAFTA deal?. That's the amount that Mexicans can import from the USA duty free. If the bilateral talks with Mexico also solved concerns over rules of origin, the path for a deal by the end of this year may well be clear.
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USA and Mexican negotiators worked over the weekend to narrow their differences. Guajardo has signaled that the nation won't declare victory on NAFTA until Canada also signs on. But Trump and other critics say it encouraged USA manufacturers to move south of the border to exploit low-wage Mexican labor.
The Trump administration wants a higher percentage of auto production to come from within the Nafta bloc before qualifying for duty-free status.
The deal with Mexico and Canada's likely about-face puts pressure on Europe to level the playing field for trade or face higher tariffs. The U.S. wanted to bring back auto manufacturing jobs that had gone to Mexico.
Trump says that on Friday, the Mexican deal will go to the lawmakers.
If Canada is excluded in the new deal, it would mark a major shift in US trade policy. And several steps remain before any new NAFTA would kick in.
The countries are said to have agreed that carmakers who do not comply with the new Nafta rules will pay a 2.5 per cent tariff, the same as they would if they skirted the existing Nafta, while any new Mexican plants would not have a guarantee. Currently, Canada imposes duties on imported goods worth more than $20 US.
"Canada will start negotiations shortly", he said. But Canada and the US have their own issues, including dairy. The average hourly pay for a US autoworker is more than $22 an hour, according to the Labor Department, but $16 is huge for Mexico, where workers average less than $3 an hour.