May 15, 2018

Mexico not optimistic on NAFTA deal wrapping soon

NAFTA negotiators standing behind podiums before three flags in front of audience.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico's Economy Minister, and U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer. Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico’s economy minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, said he does not think we will have a NAFTA deal wrapped up by Thursday, the deadline that would allow the U.S. Congress to vote on the package before the next Congress is sworn in next January.

Temper that: Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, told an Axios audience today that his optimism about the deal overall is “not great.”

Why it matters: If the blue wave really is coming this year to Capitol Hill, it is possible that the makeup of Congress next January will not back Trump’s moves to rewrite NAFTA and could derail the next proposal comes down the pike.

The other side: Canada’s Justin Trudeau: “There is very much an eminently achievable outcome...and we are very close.”

Be smart: Mexico has said it will continue negotiating past this Thursday, regardless of which Congress — old or new — will be voting on the renegotiation.

  • Yes but: U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer has threatened a retreat from the deal as a hardline. To be determined if he actually takes the hard line.
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