Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration has been telling members of Congress that it plans to get a trade deal with Mexico before its new president is inaugurated in December, which it thinks will then prompt Canada to cut a deal. It would then move on to trying to make deals with other entities, like China and the EU.

Between the lines: It's unclear whether this strategy will work, but it's also unclear what President Trump's tariffs will do to the economy and international relations in the meantime.

What they're saying: The strategy hinges on Trump being able to strike a deal with Mexico's new president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a populist who may be more open to a NAFTA deal.

  • The administration recently said that it was "encouraged that they’d be able to come up with something sooner rather than later, that there’s incentives they think on both [Obrador] and on the current administration to try to get this done before he’s sworn into office," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told Axios.
  • When asked whether the administration thinks Canada will then cut a deal, Cornyn said, “That’s what it sounds like, yeah.”
  • “It was a very general conversation, but it sounds like they’re thinking they need to get some of these issues off the table, because there’s so many of them, and the natural progression would be NAFTA and then the EU issues, maybe the 232 tariffs, particularly as regards our NATO allies, and then move onto the China front," Cornyn said.
  • A senior Senate GOP aide said the idea was straightforward: "They think they’ll get Mexico later this year, and Canada will follow."
  • Sen. Pat Roberts, one of the Republicans most worried about the administration's current trade policies, told Axios that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer "believes that they can get agreement with Mexico, and obviously if that happens, hopefully we can make better progress with Canada. But I don’t know if that two-step works or not."

Lighthizer's office declined to comment, but a senior administration official confirmed that the plan is to deal with Obrador before his inauguration, which makes it more likely that Canada will make concessions and close a deal.

  • From there, it will move on to deals with others — Asian countries, China, the EU, etc.
  • "I think they see [Obrador] as hostile to NAFTA, wanting to raise wages, and looking to create his own stamp on trade," another senior GOP aide said.
  • Before the election, the economist who will lead NAFTA talks for Obrador said he too hopes a deal can be made in the next couple of months, but that the team agrees with Mexico's negotiating position under its current president, Bloomberg reported.

Yes, but: There's a lot of anxiety on the Hill about the tariffs, and depending on how things play out, there's a chance Congress steps in before the administration cuts any new trade deals.

  • "If very bad things happen in our economy I think the Congress might step forward. And there are bad things happening now, but it isn’t to the extent that we’ve seen the entire economy affected," Roberts said.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.