U.S. lowers NAFTA key auto content demand: Mexico auto lobby

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence right shakes hands with Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges during a meeting at the residence of the US ambassador in Lima Peru Friday

US Vice President Mike Pence today warned the Syrian regime against using chemical weapons, saying there will be a price to pay for such a misadventure.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday he was leaving a summit of Latin American countries in Peru very hopeful that the United States, Mexico and Canada were close to a deal on a renegotiated NAFTA trade pact.

He said the strike was "effective, overwhelming and successful", and that Syrian President Bashar Assad "and his patrons would do well not to test our resolve" to deter the use of chemical weapons in the future.

Pence was in Lima on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump, who opted to stay home to oversee Friday's military strikes against Syria.

Pence, however, justified the attack by merely stating that the USA did not act alone, claiming that other leaders at the Latin American summit had both publicly and privately expressed support for the Syria bombardment.

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"The goal of this meeting is not only to address the issue of NAFTA, but also to talk about the bilateral relationship, which should continue to be based on cooperation and mutual respect", Pena Nieto said. Earlier in the day, Pence met separately with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Pence said the two countries were close to reaching agreements on issues such as immigration, combating drugs and NAFTA.

There had been expectations leading up to the meeting that NAFTA would dominate the discussion, particularly after conflicting messages from US trade officials and President Donald Trump earlier in the week. Pence, for his part, told Trudeau that the USA was "encouraged" by the progress and hopeful it can lead to "more fair and reciprocal trade".

After the meeting with Pence, Canada's leader Justin Trudeau said the "positive momentum" included the thorny issue of USA demands around automobile production.

Shortly before Trump's address to the nation Friday night, Pence was whisked away from the summit in his motorcade so he could return to his hotel to inform congressional leaders of the pending missile strikes.

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