Trump Signals He Wants Separate Trade Deals With Canada and Mexico


Given the statutory deadlines the administration must meet to get a trade deal approved, it now appears likely that any vote would drag into next year, after midterm elections that could shift the political makeup of Congress.

Last week, the Trump administration hit Canada and Mexico with steel and aluminum tariffs, the product of a national security-related investigation that both countries view as an affront to their close alliances. The levies, which took effect June 1, have further chilled relations, with Canada and Mexico vowing retaliation on American producers.

Mr. Trump’s strategy in the negotiations with Canada and Mexico has drawn criticism from the business community as well as Democrats and Republicans.

A spokeswoman for Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said Tuesday that Mr. Brady opposed splitting the negotiations in two.

“A Nafta without both Canada and Mexico included is no longer a North American Free Trade Agreement,” the spokeswoman, Julia Slingsby, said. “Chairman Brady believes one free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is best for America. It provides the most certainty for American companies and is the best way we can sell ‘Made in America’ products.”

And a survey of chief executive officers released Tuesday morning by Business Roundtable showed that while executives have a positive view of the economy, they see the administration’s trade policy and the prospect of retaliation from other countries as an escalating risk to their businesses.


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