BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The finance ministers for Mexico and Canada on Sunday stated they have been optimistic about NAFTA talks with the US, at the same time as commerce tensions spurred by U.S. tariffs dominated the G20 assembly of world financial leaders in Argentina.

Mexico’s Secretary of Finance Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya pauses throughout an interview with Reuters on the G20 Assembly of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Mexico Finance Minister Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya stated there have been nonetheless a number of chapters of NAFTA that had not but been closed, however that the renegotiation may very well be accomplished earlier than incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes workplace on Dec. 1 after his landslide victory on this month’s election.

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“There exists a chance that we are able to arrive at some sort of association,” Gonzalez Anaya informed Reuters in an interview, including that he mentioned the talks to modernize the 24-year-old North American Free Commerce Settlement throughout a bilateral assembly along with his Canadian counterpart, Finance Minister Invoice Morneau.

“It has all the time existed, and we hope that it stays on monitor.”

The long-running renegotiation, launched by U.S. President Donald Trump final yr, has taken on a renewed sense of urgency since Lopez Obrador’s victory. The leftist former mayor of Mexico Metropolis has stated he plans to keep up NAFTA, and his allies have stated the transition staff will participate in talks.

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Trump’s tariffs on metal and aluminum imports have been nonetheless casting a shadow on NAFTA talks, Morneau stated. Ire over the measures from the European Union, Japan and others have remoted U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the G20 assembly of finance ministers and central financial institution governors.

Morneau stated that he sensed “optimism” from Mnuchin about shifting ahead on NAFTA, and that Mnuchin had assured him that the administration was dedicated to a trilateral deal regardless of Trump’s suggestion that the US may transfer ahead with separate bilateral offers.

“That change in Mexico presents us with the chance to restart these discussions. We’re going to try this in earnest,” Morneau informed reporters. We’re going to work in the direction of attempting to get to an settlement in the time-frame that we’ve received within the subsequent few months.”

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Morneau stated he plans to journey to Mexico subsequent week to satisfy with the incoming administration. Gonzalez Anaya added that he had a “superb chat” throughout an off-the-cuff assembly final week with Carlos Urzua, who Lopez Obrador has tapped for the finance minister’s position.

“I’ve an excellent impression of him,” Gonzalez Anaya stated.

Reporting by Luc Cohen; Enhancing by Lisa Shumaker

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