U.S. and Mexico's trade negotiators are on the verge of eliminating bilateral differences over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and will resume talks on Monday morning, Mexican Minister of Commerce Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday.
Earlier, Guajardo told reporters that the two sides were probably "hours" away from reaching a common position, but said in the evening that more work had to be done and that the talks would be Monday at 9 am local time in Washington would start again.
"We have continued to make progress," said Guajardo.
The Mexico-USA Discussions focused on drawing up new rules for the automotive industry, which US President Donald Trump has put at the center of his efforts, the 24-year-old pact he calls "a disaster" for American workers to revise.
Canada has skipped the final phase of years of discussion, and as soon as it comes back to the talks, the three sides would have to work at least another week, Guajardo said.
Leaving the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said late Sunday night, Robert Lighthizer, Canada will return as soon as the bilateral issues are resolved. "We have not finished this stage yet," he said.
The two sides have slowly come to an agreement on cars, and one source close to the negotiations said weekend that there was "little" between the two.
Industry sources say they are on the verge of raising the NAFTA's duty-free regional motor vehicle threshold from 62.5 percent to around 75 percent.
Still, the Trump government is trying to impose a cap on Mexico's auto and SUV exports to the United States, which could be shipped duty-free or at a 2.5 percent duty, complicating the auto talks, three people said Knowledge of the matter.
Two automakers say the United States wants Mexican exports of cars and SUVs are capped at about 2 million units, up from about 1
including Hitchhikers, Mexico exported more than 2.3 million vehicles to the United States last year.
Mexico's economy min istis declined to comment. A USTR representative did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump said on Saturday Washington could "soon" reach an agreement with Mexico, as the new president's chief trading negotiator announced possible solutions to energy rules and a disputed US sunset clause "Demand."
Since Mexico's presidential election on 1 January. Bilateral talks have been hampered by dividing lines between incoming and outgoing Mexican governments over energy policy.
Left-wing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's team resisted announcing the opening of the oil and gas sector in 2013-14 outgoing president Enrique Pena Nieto in the new NAFTA
Long skeptical of foreign companies entering the Mexican oil industry, Lopez Obrador turned against Pena Nieto's energy reform.
Jesus Seade, the chief NAFTA negotiator of the new Mexican Regieru ng, said the topic was "ironed out" in NAFTA without going into details. He said that this week was not a "substantial" affair and that Lopez Obrador's team wanted to review conditions that were in line with the Mexican Constitution.
If talks are going in three directions through September, the final approval of the deal in Mexico is likely to be after Lopez Obrador, because US Congress will have to coordinate a new NAFTA 90 days in advance once the renegotiation is complete.
Lopez Obrador will take office on December 1st.