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Report: Mexico signals readiness to sign bilateral trade deal with US

Mexican Finance Minister José Antonio González Anaya said Mexico is open to signing a bilateral trade deal with the U.S. if Canada fails to reach a deal on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with its southern neighbor, the Financial Times reported.

González Anaya's comments come as Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to resume NAFTA negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Sept. 11, earlier than expected. A previous round of talks between the two sides failed to resolve key sticking points, such as Canada's dairy pricing scheme and dispute resolution mechanisms under NAFTA.

The U.S. and Mexico recently reached a partial deal on the terms of a bilateral trade agreement, under which 75% of parts for vehicles assembled in either country must be sourced from North America, up from 62.5%, according to the FT. González Anaya said Mexican-assembled vehicles that do not meet the requirements would only be subject to light tariffs under a side agreement with the U.S.

Senior members of the U.S. Congress and large business lobby groups have said a trade deal would not get enough legislative support if Canada is excluded, according to the report.