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MEXICO, U.S. NAFTA AGREEMENT EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW
POLITICO reports:

The White House is planning to formally announce on Thursday that it has reached a breakthrough in NAFTA talks with Mexico, clearing the way for Canada to rejoin negotiations to modernize the free trade pact, Pro Trade's Megan Cassella and Sabrina Rodriguez reported on Tuesday night.

Three sources told POLITICO that time has been cleared on the White House schedule for the announcement, and that President Donald Trump was expected to be in attendance. Officials are expected to announce that the U.S. and Mexico, which have been conducting two-way negotiations for the last several weeks, have made enough progress on various U.S.-Mexico issues to be able to announce what one source described as a "handshake" deal.

Bullishness meets caution: The sources cautioned that the schedule could change before Thursday. Whether the announcement moves forward as planned could depend on what transpires during a high-level meeting scheduled for Wednesday between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo.

But putting an announcement on the White House calendar shows that administration officials are bullish on their prospects of working out any remaining issues with Mexico in the next couple of days.

Word on Canada? The announcement is also expected to include details of when Canadian officials will return to Washington to resume trilateral talks.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative responded to an inquiry from POLITICO late Tuesday night and said only: "There is no deal on NAFTA. There are major issues outstanding." Trump, however, indicated at a rally in West Virginia earlier on Tuesday night that talks with Mexico were close to completion: "We're on our way with a good deal - a fair deal with Mexico."


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