NAFTA Deadline Looms

According to POLITICO, today’s the informal deadline for U.S. and Canadian trade negotiators to strike a trade deal to allow ample time for officials to write the draft text and send it to Congress by Sept. 30. With the calendar shrinking, House Republicans on Wednesday kept knocking the Canadians for the lack of visible progress toward an agreement, prompting a subdued response from Canada’s top trade negotiator.

Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo has said it will take at least 10 days to finalize the draft text. President Trump is required by the trade promotion law to submit that draft 30 days after notifying Congress of an agreement — which occurred Aug. 31, when he told lawmakers he intends to sign a trade pact with Mexico and possibly Canada.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer resumed direct talks on Wednesday, but there was no word of a breakthrough. Freeland exited the final session Wednesday evening and declined to discuss details of the talks, which will continue today.

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