Negotiators report progress in latest round of NAFTA trade talks in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — The latest round of NAFTA negotiations has wrapped up with the three countries saying they’ve managed to make some progress.The three lead ministers told a closing news conference in Mexico City that they’re still aiming to get a deal by year’s end.U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer, who says two dozen chapter texts have been tabled, is also thanking his North American neighbours for their thoughts in the wake of a devastating hurricane in Texas and Louisiana.Lighthizer, who reiterated some of his tough-talk remarks from the opening round, nonetheless struck a less aggressive tone.The agreements reached so far relate to less-controversial parts of the agreement.Multiple sources say the countries have not even begun dealing with the more complex elements — and that any attempts to raise a contentious issue have been brushed off by the other parties.That’s true of Canadian proposals like some labour reforms that have been declared a non-starter by the U.S.It’s also true of the U.S. desire to secure more dairy sales in Canada. The U.S. tried informally starting the conversation, and sources say Canada pushed it off.The next round of talks is scheduled to take place in Ottawa Sept. 23-27.

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