U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told CNBC television he is “hopeful” there will be compromise and a deal reached on the North American Free Trade Agreement. His comments follow those from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who earlier this week said a “win-win-win deal is not only possible but likely.” Lighthizer said Wednesday he is optimistic the three NAFTA members can “get something done in principle in the next little bit.” He acknowledged there is a short window to reach an agreement, as Mexico will hold summer elections and the U.S. will hold midterm elections in the fall.
Round eight of the negotiations are scheduled for Washington, D.C., in early April. In the last round of talks, some agricultural topics advanced, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures. However, the American Farm Bureau Federation reported there was much work left to be done on market access, referring to the U.S.-Canada dairy trade issue.