The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is echoing comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling on the North American Free Trade Agreement talks to conclude in an agreement this week. That is if the Trump administration wants Congress to consider an updated NAFTA before the end of 2018. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says “we’re hopeful they’ll continue to make progress on this agreement.” However, the week is quickly coming to an end, and top trade negotiators from Mexico and Canada are not on-site with others this week.
Dan Ujczo, an international trade lawyer, told Politico that to reach an agreement, negotiators may have to concede to a “skinny NAFTA,” one without addressing key issues including reducing the trade deficit, preventing job outsourcing and providing better market access to Canada for U.S. dairy farmers. The “skinny NAFTA,” Ujczo says, would fall in line with the “do no harm” pleas by U.S. agriculture, but he says not addressing key issues gives Democrats an advantage to say President Trump “did not fulfill his campaign promises to dairy farmers,” and others.