Negotiations for a North American free-trade pact will not be easy despite wide support from businessmen and top trade officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico, a U.S. businessman said Saturday.

"There will be pluses and minuses on all sides," said Malcolm Stamper, a representative for the Boeing Co. based in Seattle, Wash. "They're going to be very difficult negotiations."Stamper is among 100 top business leaders, government officials and trade chiefs from the three countries attending a forum on North American free-trade talks in the Pacific resort town of Acapulco, 180 miles south of Mexico City.

The closed-door forum, organized by the Conference Board - a private business research company based in New York - began Thursday and is scheduled to end Sunday.

U.S. trade representative Carla Hills, Canadian International Trade Minister John Crosbie and Mexican Commerce Minister Jaime Serra Puche are attending the four-day meeting.