The United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer plans to issue the text of a trade deal with just the U.S. and Mexico on Thursday, two sources told CNBC, though the sources added that the release of the text could slip into the weekend. One source said that the text will allow Canada to join onto the agreement at a later date.
The Trump administration has been hurrying to meet a self-imposed Oct. 1 deadline to strike a new North American trade deal. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will leave office at the end of November.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Tuesday that he expects that to see the full text that will be sent to Congress, as opposed to an outline.
Lighthizer, in New York Tuesday, said that that the U.S. would "go ahead" with a deal with Mexico, but left open the possibility of including Canada. He noted that the administration was "sort of running out of time."
"If Canada comes along now, that would be the best," Lighthizer said. "If Canada comes along later, that’s what will happen."
Lawmakers have raised concerns about a two-way trade deal, and some have said that only a three-way pact could be approved by the Senate with a simple majority.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said that a bilateral agreement would require 60 votes, Reuters reported in August. In order to get the trade deal fast-tracked, "the administration must also reach an agreement with Canada," Toomey said.Minority Leader Chuck Schumer , D-N.Y., […]
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