NAFTA: With interim deadline days away, U.S. says big issues unresolved

The U.S. commerce secretary says none of the hot-button issues in the NAFTA talks have been resolved yet.

That's with an unofficial deadline just days away.

The countries have been meeting frequently in an effort to get an agreement before elections in Mexico and the U.S. And top U.S. lawmakers say Thursday is the deadline for getting an agreement in order for a vote in Congress to take place this year.

The comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross cast new doubt on the feasibility of the task.

In an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, he was asked whether any issues have been resolved yet. He responded in the negative, and identified autos, dispute resolution, labour, and the so-called sunset clause as work in progress.

Any failure to reach a deal this spring will likely delay the negotiations into 2019, after a new U.S. Congress and Mexican president are sworn in.