WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is expected to release the text of its trade agreement with Mexico as early as Friday, launching a contentious congressional approval process as it tries to coax Canada into a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement. FILE PHOTO: A car hauler heading for Detroit, Michigan, drives on the lane to Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo
U.S. lawmakers briefed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday said that they expect the long-awaited document to largely exclude language related to Canada, but were still hoping for Canada to join.
They expressed little optimism that a deal with Canada could be reached quickly, noting disagreements over dairy and dispute settlement provisions. Some Democrats said they could not support a NAFTA trade deal without Canada.
“Canada is exceptionally important. I think it would be malpractice, both for economic and political reasons, not to have a major agreement with Canada,” said Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the tax and trade Senate Finance Committee. “I think leaving Canada out of a new deal amounts to the Trump administration surrendering on fixing NAFTA.” Wyden is from Oregon, a state that trade more with Canada than Mexico.
A Trump administration official and congressional aides said the U.S.-Mexico text was due for release on Friday, but a USTR spokesman declined to comment on timing.
The text needs to be published by late Sunday night – 60 days ahead of a Nov. 30 deadline for President Donald Trump […]