Top Canadian and Mexican diplomats expressed optimism on Thursday that a NAFTA deal could be reached early next year and cautioned that widespread uncertainty over the future of the three-way trade agreement had slowed business investment.
Mexican sources say the plan is to hold seven rounds of talks at three-week intervals, a schedule that trade experts warned was aggressive and not easily attainable.
Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Geronimo Gutierrez, said his country wanted to get the negotiations over before a presidential election campaign ramps up next year.
Gutierrez said no country would want trade discussions during a campaign.
“That is not wise … because it becomes a Christmas tree, everybody wants to hang something onto the Christmas tree,” he told an audience at the Washington International Trade Association conference.