Ministers leading the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could meet again on Thursday in Washington as they push for quick progress, Mexican economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo told Reuters.

US trade negotiators reportedly have significantly softened their demands on regional local content for automobiles as part of the latest round of negotiations.

Guajardo told the news agency he had spoken to Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland on Monday and would talk to US trade representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday to see about agreeing a trilateral meeting in Washington on Thursday.

Speaking after meeting with steel industry executives, Guajardo also said if that the US imposed steel tariffs, Mexico might seek to mirror the move against some countries in order to prevent them from using Mexico to elude the duties.

Guajardo said a total of 10 chapters of a revised deal were now concluded or virtually settled but he did not expect major announcements on Thursday.

"Thursday is about starting to work through the list of issues pending. The truth is the horizon going forward is a horizon of a couple of weeks," Guajardo told Reuters.

"I think you need to be alert that if there's going to be rabbit for the stew, it's going to be at the end of April," he added, without being more specific.

The report noted Guajardo and others have said a NAFTA deal could be possible by early May but significant differences remain on those US proposals to revise content rules for the automotive sector, change dispute resolution mechanisms and other issues.

Over the past few days, the technical teams had, barring some "tiny details", finished work on chapters including telecoms, energy and technical barriers to trade, Guajardo said.

On US president Donald Trump's threats to use other measures, such as slapping import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium, to gain leverage over Mexico and Canada in the NAFTA talks (both countries have been initially exempted from the tariffs), Guajardo said ,if Mexico remained exempt, the government would consider mirroring any US tariffs on countries with which Mexico did not have a free trade agreement.

Otherwise Mexico could become a "back door" for Asian imports the US wanted to discourage, Guajardo said.

Mexico has a 15% tariff on certain steel imports from countries it does not have free trade with and the government would need to review whether to raise that duty further depending on what the US did, he added.