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Trump, Mexico expect progress in stalled NAFTA talks

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Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme

PUERTO VALLARTA (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump spoke warmly of Mexico’s incoming leftist president on Monday, saying he expected to get “something worked out” on NAFTA, while a top Mexican official said there was scope to revive the trade talks this week.

“We’re talking to Mexico on NAFTA, and I think we’re going to have something worked out. The new president, terrific person,” Mr Trump said in a speech at the White House about American manufacturing.

“We’re talking to them about doing something very dramatic, very positive for both countries, he said, without giving more details.

Talks to reshape the 1994 trade accord have been underway since last August. But they stalled in the run-up to the July 1 presidential election in Mexico, which produced a landslide victory for veteran leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The US, 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.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo,who expressed hope that an agreement in principle on NAFTA could be reached by the end of August, is due to hold talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the end of the week in Washington.

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