Scant progress in latest NAFTA talks

MEXICO CITY - U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer said agreement was reached on only three chapters of the North American Free Trade Agreement during the latest round of talks on renegotiating the treaty, and he warned that "time is running short" to reach a deal.

He indicated that, overall, only six of NAFTA's 30 chapters have been concluded in seven rounds of talks.

Lighthizer said Monday that "we have not made the progress many had hoped," adding, "I fear the longer we proceed, the more political headwinds we will feel."

He said if three-way negotiations involving the U.S., Mexico and Canada don't work, "we are prepared to move on a bilateral basis."

Lighthizer spoke in Mexico City, where the latest round of talks took place. 

The talks happened as the Trump administration announced it would place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, as he rebuffed U.S. allies that have pushed to be exempted from the stiff duties -- including Canada and Mexico.

The protectionist policy will be made official in the next two weeks, White House officials said Sunday, as the administration defended the decision from critics in Washington and overseas.

On Monday, Trump tweeted "Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed."