Trump says trade deal with Mexico ‘could be happening soon’

US President Donald Trump on August 25, 2018, hinted the US and Mexico were on the verge of finalizing a deal, as negotiators from both sides were holding talks through the weekend to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. (AFP)
Updated 25 August 2018

Trump says trade deal with Mexico ‘could be happening soon’

  • “Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour,” the US president tweeted
  • His tweet followed a similarly optimistic message from Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump on Saturday hinted that the US and Mexico were on the verge of finalizing a deal, as negotiators from both sides were holding talks through the weekend to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour,” the US president tweeted.
“Some really good people within both the new and old government, and all working closely together....A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!“
His tweet followed a similarly optimistic message from Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, who said on Friday that bilateral meetings with the US were “very far” along and that Canada was set to rejoin talks as soon as they were called.
Guajardo and Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray have been shuttling back and forth to Washington for more than a month for meetings with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to try to iron out bilateral issues, such as rules for the auto market, before the end of August.
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland of Canada — the third party to the trade pact — said earlier in the week that she was encouraged by the progress between Washington and Mexico City and would rejoin the talks once the bilateral discussions concluded.
Guajardo declined to go into detail on the topics remaining with the United States but said the agreement could happen at any time.
“The idea is that we are staying because we know there are issues to resolve,” he said. “And we have to make sure that everybody feels comfortable with this agreement.”
A contentious “sunset” proposal by the United States — to require that the nearly 25-year-old trade pact be reauthorized every five years — is one that must include all three partners, Guajardo said.
Jesus Seade, an economic adviser to Mexico’s incoming president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has been participating in portions of the NAFTA talks and said the sunset clause “is going out,” according to press reports from Mexico City.


German carnival crash driver ‘seemed so satisfied’ — eyewitness

Updated 3 min 45 sec ago

German carnival crash driver ‘seemed so satisfied’ — eyewitness

  • Local residents are in shock, trying to understand the driver's motivations
  • The man was a local resident and was recognised around the town

VOLKMARSEN: An emergency responder who tried to remove the key from a car that had just careered into 60 people at a carnival parade on Monday described how the driver had attacked her, wearing an “empty and dead” expression.

Lea-Sophie Schloemer told German television channel Welt that she heard screams and jumped out of the way as the car plowed through the crowd and then crashed in the town of Volkmarsen in western Germany, where at least 18 children were among the injured.

When the car, a silver Mercedes-Benz, came to a halt, she ran up to it, opened the driver’s door and attempted to take the key out of the ignition.

“Then he grabbed my hair and started to choke me and tried to start the car again, which he didn’t manage to do,” Schloemer said of the driver. Three local men then punched the driver to restrain him.

“He didn’t say a word. He looked at you empty and dead and seemed so satisfied,” she said, “It was really unnerving how satisfied he seemed.”

A friend pulled Schloemer away from the car and she administered first aid to two injured people, a child and an older woman.

“It wasn’t an accident, nor was it an attack, but it was what he wanted,” she said of the driver.

Among other residents of the town, one question is on everyone’s minds: why would one of their own turn his car into a weapon against men, women and children taking part in a festive parade?

No one seems to have an answer.

Volkmarsen native Rainer Bellmann, 58, speculated that: “He must have serious issues. With his family or with a lover.”

Bellman, speaking from his home just two streets away from where the suspect lives, added: “You have to be crazy or blinded by rage to do something like this.”

Prosecutors have not yet questioned the man who yesterday was being treated for his injuries, but have confirmed he was not drunk at the time of the incident.