NAFTA RENEGOTIATION: THE HOME STRETCH?

Is it true?  Has the Trump administration gotten to the point where a new, presumably more equitable NAFTA deal with Mexico is imminent?

Reading Don Lee’s article for the Los Angeles Times via the Virginian-Pilot, it certainly seems so.

Here is how it begins:

The Trump administration is close to striking a deal with Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, analysts said, but thorny issues are yet to be resolved with Canada, the third party in the trilateral pact.

Reaching an agreement with Mexico would mark a breakthrough for the administration after a year of roller-coaster talks and tension with its longtime North American trading partners. President Trump has frequently threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, linked the renegotiations to his call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and slapped tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel to apply pressure to make concessions.

But both Mexico and the U.S. have strong incentives to push through a deal quickly. Mexico wants to lock in an agreement before its new leftist president takes office, and the White House is keen on achieving a win on trade ahead of the midterm elections.

Canada, meanwhile, has shown less urgency to complete a revision of the 24-year-old pact, but is expected to return to the bargaining table once the U.S. and Mexico settle their differences.

Let’s remember that this is an article.  It is not an agreement.

But let’s also remember that it is an article published by a newspaper that makes no secret of its avid dislike for President Trump.  The LA Times would not have done so without strong  indications it was on target.

And if the Trump administration can go into the 2018 midterm elections with a better NAFTA deal – which would also mean that a) the so-called trade war is over with b) the United States benefiting from Trump’s negotiating strategy?  It is hard to see how that would do anything but help his party.

Stay tuned.

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