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In The Media

Trump’s 'submission' strategy is not working so expect NAFTA talks to drag on

by Kevin Carmichael (Feat. Eric Miller)

Financial Post
May 17, 2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan was once described as a Republican “young gun.” These days, he fires blanks.

Ryan told the men and women negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement that if they wanted legislative approval this year, then he would need something by May 17. Everyone in Washington, Ottawa, and Mexico City essentially ignored him. The Trump administration spent the day negotiating with China, not Canada and Mexico, while officials from those two countries continued to insist they felt no pressure to rush.

The failure of Ryan to speed up the NAFTA talks suggests President Donald Trump has decided he wants to fundamentally overhaul the agreement, and won’t settle for cosmetic changes. That could mean the Trump administration becomes more open-minded, as a top-to-bottom reworking of the agreement will require lots of give and take. But it also would drag out the uncertainty around trade rules that is hurting investment in both Canada and Mexico.

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