Congress could be the big problem for a NAFTA deal

Congress could be the big problem for a NAFTA deal

A new deal would need to be ratified

The White House may be forced into a game of brinkmanship to get a new NAFTA deal approved.

Politico today reports on some of the problems of getting congressional approval.

“One strategy that has seemed to gain favor is to force a
congressional approval on the new NAFTA by withdrawing from the existing
pact even before the new one is ready. The thinking is that Congress
will have to approve whatever terms are in the new deal quickly, lest
the U.S. is left hanging without an agreement with two of its largest
trading partners.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is said to have advocated
for such an approach, according to current and former administration
officials.”

There remains an undecided US constitutional question along with this. Congress must approve all trade deals but it’s a grey area whether the administration can exit a deal alone.

Ultimately, I think it’s all bluster. The new NAFTA deal isn’t going to be very different from the old deal, so there isn’t much to fight over.

A lot of the talk in the article is about stripping out the investor-state tribunals but I just don’t see much likelihood that’s in the final deal.

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