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.


Five dead, three missing after Jakarta floods

Updated 26 February 2020

Five dead, three missing after Jakarta floods

  • The muddy deluge inundated the presidential palace, a major hospital and entire neighborhoods across Jakarta on Tuesday
  • Floodwaters reached more than a meter (three feet) in some parts of the capital but were receding by Wednesday

JAKARTA: Five people were killed, three more are missing and thousands are unable to return to their waterlogged homes after floods submerged parts of Indonesia’s capital, officials said Wednesday.

The muddy deluge inundated the presidential palace, a major hospital and entire neighborhoods across Jakarta on Tuesday, only weeks after 70 residents of the low-lying megacity died in some of the deadliest flooding in memory.

Two teenagers were among the five people drowned or electrocuted in hard-hit parts of the city, Indonesia’s national disaster agency said.

“The joint rescue team is still searching” for three other possible victims, agency spokesman Agus Wibowo told AFP, adding that nearly 20,000 people were staying in emergency shelters.

Floodwaters reached more than a meter (three feet) in some parts of the capital but were receding by Wednesday, a day after rescuers combed drenched districts in pontoon boats to locate vulnerable residents.

Parts of the city had ground to a halt as thousands of buildings were swamped, sparking power outages and disrupting commuter trains.

Jakarta, a sprawling city beleaguered by massive traffic jams and poor infrastructure, is prone to flooding during the annual wet season.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo last year unveiled plans to relocate the capital to an as yet unbuilt city on Borneo island.