September 5, 2017 / 8:05 PM / a year ago

U.S., Canada, Mexico ministers say progress made in updating NAFTA

Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into U.S. at the Bridge of Americas in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Trade ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico said on Tuesday they made progress in talks to update NAFTA, emphasizing that in some areas, they had consolidated proposals into a single text.

The three countries wrapped up the second round of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade agreement, building on the momentum from the first round in Washington two weeks ago.

“Over the past five days, more than two dozen working groups comprised of trade experts and technical officials worked diligently to advance the discussions and exchanged information and proposals,” the three countries said in a joint statement.

“In several groups, this engagement resulted in the consolidation of proposals into a single text upon which the teams will continue to work throughout the following negotiation rounds,” they added.

The ministers said negotiators will meet for a third round of talks in Ottawa from Sept. 23-27 as they race to rewrite the accord by early next year to avoid conflicts with 2018 election cycles in Mexico and the United States.

They added that the successful conclusion of the negotiations would update NAFTA with new rules to generate economic opportunities for all three countries.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Dan Grebler

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