In letter to Mexico, Trump urges quick NAFTA renegotiation

Mexico's incoming president wants to work with Trump to end NAFTA talks anti-establishment alliance

The Trudeau government asked Monday for a review under NAFTA of a 30-per-cent tariff on solar panel cells by the Trump administration. Freeland said that the United States taxes on Canadian solar panels have impacted businesses and workers on both sides of the border.

Mexican President-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has sent US President Donald Trump a letter urging him to help bring an end to NAFTA negotiations, saying the pair could work together as two anti-establishment politicians that put their "voters and citizens at the center" of what they do.

The letter was delivered during a recent meeting in Mexico with senior US officials, and details were disclosed once Trump had received it, said Lopez Obrador, a leftist who won Mexico's July 1 presidential election in a landslide.

USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer is hosting Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo as well as Jesus Seade, who will represent the incoming Lopez Obrador administration.

The United States, Mexico and Canada have been at odds over US demands to impose tougher content rules for the auto industry, as well as several other proposals, including one that would kill NAFTA after five years if it is not renegotiated.

NAFTA negotiations are set to resume this week in Washington, D.C., and Mexico is sending chief NAFTA negotiator Jesus Seade to join the team on its trip.

Lopez Obrador also proposed creating a free trade zone along the 185-kilometer border, roughly 115 miles, along the USA that will promote investment, technological development and create jobs. It called the tariff illegal and unfair. "We will try to make emigration optional and not necessary", Lopez Obrador wrote in the seven-page letter.

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Guajardo is due to meet his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday, also to discuss NAFTA.

Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports were still casting a shadow on NAFTA talks, Morneau said.

Trump did not mention Canada in his comments.

Chile's Pinera said he met with aides to Lopez Obrador, and said he was confident the next Mexican president would remain committed to free trade.

Paris cited the results of research conducted by Earnscliffe Strategy Group for the Department of National Defence. But Paris said he found it "striking" that the runaway second-place result - at 16 per cent - was the "United States (and) Canada's proximity to the U.S".

The research was conducted between February and April and included eight focus groups and a telephone poll of more than 1,500 respondents.

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