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As reported by Reuters, sources close to NAFTA renegotiations are saying that trade talks between the US and Mexico are slated to start again this Thursday after negotiations stalled in the run-up to Mexico’s recent federal election.

Key quotes

“Mexico and the United States agreed last week to step up talks on revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in hopes of reaching an agreement on major issues by August.  There will be “technical meetings probably until Wednesday and a ministerial meeting on Thursday,” a Mexican source close to the talks told Reuters on Monday. A second Mexican source close to the talks also said a ministerial meeting was planned for Thursday.  “We will be there,” but it is not yet clear if the meeting will be trilateral and include Canada, said the first source.

A spokesman at Mexico’s economy ministry said there would be technical meetings this week, but said he did not know whether a ministerial meeting would take place.  Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo last week held what he described as “constructive” and “very positive” talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested he could seek a bilateral deal with Mexico, but Guajardo said the U.S.-Mexico talks would lead to discussions with Canada and “a trilateral dialogue when we get closer to the conclusion.”  Freeland visited Mexico on July 25 and she and Guajardo insisted that NAFTA remain a trilateral pact.

Talks began last August but stalled in the run-up to the July 1 Mexican presidential election. That was due, at least in part, to U.S. calls for a so-called sunset clause, that would put the deal forming one of the world’s largest trading blocs up for renewal every five years. U.S. demands for sweeping changes in the auto sector have also been controversial.”