Mexican and Canadian officials areoptimistic they can reach a NAFTA (North American Free TradeAgreement) trade deal with the United States in the next severalmonths, even amid sticking points on car production, an automaticexpiration clause, and President Donald Trump's threats to imposetariffs on foreign vehicles.The nations will work to land anagreement before U.S. mid-term elections in early November, MexicanEconomy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Wednesday as he andForeign Minister Luis Videgaray hosted their Canadian counterpartChrystia Freeland in Mexico City. While some of the negotiationstake the shape of meetings between just two nations, and the U.S.has expressed a preference for bilateral deals, Mexico and Canadaremain committed to a trilateral agreement, they said.High-leveltalks on NAFTA are picking up again this week after two months oflimited negotiations that were marred by tit-for-tat tariff battlesand diplomatic fallout. Guajardo is traveling to Washington onThursday for talks with U.S. Trade Representative RobertLighthizer. Combined with Wednesday's meeting in Mexico, thebilateral gatherings are the busiest NAFTA negotiations have beensince May.Many of Trump's senior economic advisers expect him toimpose a 25 percent tariff on about $200 billion in foreign-madeautomobiles later this year, the Washington Post reported onWednesday, citing three people briefed on the matter. Freelandreiterated her view that slapping tariffs on automobiles fromCanada based on a national security review is “absurd.” She saidshe's confident the U.S. will follow common sense and refrain fromimposing the tariffs. Videgaray also said Mexican vehicles don'tpose a threat to the U.S.“In the next few months, and definitelybefore the election process in the United States, we are trying toconstructively advance this negotiation,” Guajardo said Wednesday.“We believe that there is the possibility of finding a safe landingzone.”

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