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US Vice President Pence says NAFTA deal possible in several weeks

US Vice President Pence says NAFTA deal possible in several weeks

Vice President Pence said on Saturday that the Trump administration stood ready to respond to any potential retaliatory measures by Syria or allies, after the U.S., France and the United Kingdom launched military strikes on the country.

"I'll leave this summit very hopeful that we are very close to a renegotiated NAFTA", and "there is a real possibility that we could arrive at an agreement within the next several weeks", Pence told reporters at the Summit of the Americas in Lima.

During his meeting with Pence, Pena Nieto urged for the relationship between Mexico and the USA to be based on "mutual respect".

The Mexican leader says they will discuss NAFTA and other parts of their relationship involving "cooperation and mutual respect".

Trump and Pena Nieto have yet to meet in person since Trump became president past year.

Saturday's meeting comes amid tensions between President Donald Trump and Mexico over immigration and the president's calls for a border wall.

Canada and the USA stood shoulder-to-shoulder on Saturday as they condemned the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians and sounded a positive note about the ongoing North American free trade talks.

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"Last night, the aim of the mission of this (our) commander-in-chief handed our military forces was utterly attained, with accelerated professionalism", Pence claimed in a reaction to reporters' inquiries about whether Trump reluctantly reevaluate the mission's no effect.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to kill NAFTA if it is not changed to secure better terms for USA workers and companies.

In condemning the US-led attack, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insisted on Saturday that the missile strikes would only strengthen his nation's resolve to keep its fight against Western-backed terror groups and "crush terrorism in every inch of the nation".

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was barred from attending the summit over his plans to hold a presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments consider a sham. He was sworn in after Peru's congress voted to accept the resignation of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski after a corruption scandal.

For Pence, the calls and schedule changes served as the latest example of his supporting role here in place of Trump, who pulled out of the summit so he could manage the US response to the suspected chemical attack in Syria.

On Friday, auto industry executives said U.S. trade negotiators significantly softened their demands to increase regional automotive content under a reworked NAFTA trade pact in an effort to seal a deal in the next few weeks.


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