MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Canada and Mexico do not seem willing to engage on rebalancing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday.
"Absent rebalancing, we will not reach a satisfactory result," Lighthizer said in a statement issued upon the conclusion of the fifth round of NAFTA renegotiations.
The trade representative added that a rebalanced NAFTA is meant to "promote greater prosperity for American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses and strengthen the North American region as a whole."
"I hope our partners will come to the table in a serious way so we can see meaningful progress before the end of the year," Lighthizer said, adding that the negotiating teams will meet again in December.
A trilateral statement issued after the conclusion of the round of talks, in turn, said that negotiators concentrated on making progress with the aim of narrowing gaps and finding solutions, and achieving progress in a number of chapters.
The negotiations were initiated by US President Donald Trump, who repeatedly criticized the agreement as disadvantageous to US workers. Canada and Mexico have so far rejected US demands for changes regarding dairy, automobiles, dispute resolution panels and government procurement.
In October, Canada, Mexico and the United States, decided to extend the NAFTA negotiations into next year past the original deadline of December 31. The next round of the talks is scheduled for January 23-28 and will take place in Montreal, Canada.