May 21, 2018 / 2:00 AM / in a month

U.S. underscores importance of concluding new NAFTA deal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan underscored the importance of concluding a new NAFTA trade deal in talks on Sunday with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray on the sidelines of the G-20 foreign ministers meeting in Buenos Aires.

FILE PHOTO: The flags of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

Sullivan and Videgaray discussed “continued cooperation on managing a shared border and the importance of working together to disrupt transnational criminal organizations,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“The Deputy also emphasized the importance of concluding a NAFTA deal,” said Nauert.

Canada, the United States and Mexico are renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Talks to reach a deal on reworking the 24-year-old accord have intensified in recent weeks, pressed by U.S. congressional deadlines and a common will to reach an agreement before Mexico’s July 1 presidential election.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that President Donald Trump is focused on getting a good NAFTA deal, whether it is passed by the current or future U.S. Congress. He said Trump is not focused on specific deadlines.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Sandra Maler

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