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Mexican ambassador says NAFTA negotiations progressing

The Mexican Ambassador to Washington tells Bloomberg the United States, Canada, and Mexico have general agreement on 40-percent of the topics being renegotiated in the NAFTA talks.

Geronimo Gutierrez says Mexico may also be willing to accept an increase in the minimum regional content for automobiles traded under the deal. Gutierrez says Mexico is focusing on increasing employment, something that’s also important to the U.S. However, he told Bloomberg his country will walk away from the bargaining table if President Trump gives notice of his intention to withdraw from NAFTA.

The U.S. demand for more North American content, specifically American content, in vehicles, is one of the most contentious issues to this point. Negotiators have largely avoided this and other contentious issues like government procurement, which means the negotiations in Canada could be very important to the final outcome.

The talks in Canada are scheduled to run from January 23 through January 28. The Mexican Economy Minister also says that negotiations are almost complete on 10 of the 20 chapters in NAFTA.