The Wall Street Journal: Top U.S. trade official wants new Nafta deal by mid-May


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top trade official wants to finish a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the middle of the month to get a revised pact to a vote in Congress by the end of this year.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a gathering at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that he hoped to strike a deal with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts within a week or two after high-level talks resume next week.

He said a delay beyond that time frame risked “having a problem” in getting the new Nafta to a vote in Congress this year, he said.

The Trump administration is eager to get a revised Nafta to the House and Senate before January. A large number of House Republicans are set to retire at the end of the year. If the Democrats win control of the House in what is expected to be a tough election year for the GOP, they could block efforts to enact Nafta or other parts of Trump’s agenda.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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