U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a statement after the conclusion of the fifth round of renegotiations in Mexico City, Mexico for the North American Free Trade Agreement. His comments indicate that while some progress has been made, he had hoped for more by the point in the process.
“While we have made progress on some of our efforts to modernize NAFTA, I remain concerned about the lack of headway. Thus far, we have seen no evidence that Canada or Mexico are willing to seriously engage on provisions that will lead to a rebalanced agreement. Absent rebalancing, we will not reach a satisfactory result,” Lighthizer said.
“A rebalanced, updated NAFTA will promote greater prosperity for American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses and strengthen the North American region as a whole. Our teams will be meeting again next month in Washington. I hope our partners will come to the table in a serious way so we can see meaningful progress before the end of the year,” he added.
The countries have agreed to hold the Sixth Round of Negotiations from January 23-28, 2018, in Montreal, Quebec. In the meantime, negotiators will continue their work in inter-sessional meetings in Washington, DC throughout mid-December and will report back to Chief Negotiators on the progress achieved.