The holdup in starting Nafta negotiations has actually been the U.S. Congress, which jealously guards its authority to shape U.S. trade agreements. The 2015 fast-track trade law requires the president to send Congress a 90-day notice before he can begin trade talks—and it also requires his U.S. trade representative to brief Congress before submitting that letter. Congress has yet to confirm Mr. Trump’s trade representative nominee, Robert Lighthizer, and so he has been unable to start talks. Lawmakers say Mr. Lighthizer may finally win confirmation in early May. That would push the start of the Nafta renegotiation to August at the earliest, or well past Mr. Trump’s first 100 days in office. (Wall Street Journal)
Until Congress confirms Robert Lighthizer the most Trump can do is yell & snort like a certain demon from Lord of the Rings…
Unfortunately Congress Republicans may suffer the fate of Gandalf & be dragged down towards the abyss as their two main options are:
- Confirm Robert Lighthizer & watch Trump stagnant America’s economy by ending NAFTA prematurely or
- Delay Lighthizer’s nomination indefinitely & watch Democrats capture Congress in 2018
Congress seems reluctant to give Trump power to alter or end this trade agreement on a whim so the GOP may sacrifice themselves in order to preserve the fellowship of the…NAFTA neighbors.
Image via Crooks & Liars
Discovered via: Pradheep Shanker MD & Shane Goldmacher