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Canada, U.S. May Strike NAFTA Deal Friday

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that American and Canadian officials negotiating a revamped NAFTA were probably set to meet a Friday deadline for an accord.

This story by Julie Gordon and Sharay Angulo appeared in Automotive News.

“They (Canada) want to be part of the deal, and we gave until Friday and I think we’re probably on track. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters before a meeting on opioids at the White House.

Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said such a deal was possible by Trump’s deadline.

“We recognize that there is a possibility of getting there by Friday, but it is only a possibility, because it will hinge on whether or not there is ultimately a good deal for Canada,” he said at a press conference in northern Ontario. “No NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal.”

On Tuesday, Canada’s top trade negotiator praised Mexico’s trade concessions on autos and labor rights as she rejoined NAFTA talks, while U.S. lawmakers warned that a bilateral U.S.-Mexico trade deal would struggle to win approval in Congress.

Automotive executives and other sources also told Reuters on Tuesday that the bilateral U.S.-Mexico deal announced on Monday allows President Donald Trump to impose 25 percent tariffs on imports of Mexican-made passenger vehicles and auto parts above certain volumes.

If Trump proceeds with the tariffs now under consideration based on national security concerns, Mexican duty-free exports of cars and sport-utility vehicles to the U.S. would be capped at 2.4 million vehicles annually. Volumes above that level would be subject to tariffs, auto industry officials and other sources said.

The White House has said Trump will sign the deal 90 days after notification. Congress needs to approve it in a process that will take several months, extending well into 2019.

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