The White House will give Congress the full text of its bilateral trade agreement with Mexico on Friday evening, the first step toward getting Congress to approve it.
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The deal will be submitted even though the administration has so far been unable to get Canada to reach a new trade deal of its own. Canada’s absence will likely make obtaining congressional approval harder, due to lawmakers’ fears that it could disrupt the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Trump administration is under pressure to get the deal approved quickly. Oct. 1 is the deadline for submitting the text under the terms of the Trade Promotion Authority law, which is why the White House is about to submit it, according to several press reports.
Any later and the deal would have to be renegotiated with Mexico’s incoming president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist. "We don’t know where that would go at all," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Tuesday.
A month of continuous meetings between U.S. and Canadian negotiators failed to secure an agreement. A clearly frustrated President Trump indicated Wednesday that talks had completely broken down.
"We’re not getting along at all with their negotiators," he said, claiming to have rejected an offer to meet one-on-one with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The prime minister’s office said that no such request was made.
The White House has long maintained that Canada’s approval is not necessary, but pursued it anyway in order to calm lawmakers’ fears. Officials hope the introduction of the text will spur […]