As Nafta Deadline Nears, Four Scenarios That Could Unfold

Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2018
by William Mauldin

The Trump administration is facing stark choices as it seeks to fulfill promises to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico ahead of a fast-approaching deadline.

The administration’s goal is to have a deal cleared by the U.S. Congress by year-end. Given procedural hurdles, both House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump’s top trade official, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, have called for a Nafta agreement this week, so as to give it the best chance of getting lawmaker approval by the end of December.

There are few signs that a deal will be ready in time, but then again, none of the three Nafta members is willing to say—at least so far—that the members will miss the deadline. Mr. Trump spoke Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the possibility of bringing the negotiations to a prompt conclusion.

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