The window to ratify a new North American Free Trade Agreement has likely closed as negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico stall. President Trump has also shifted his tone on how the U.S. may proceed as well, per new comments from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
“His preference now, he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately,” Kudlow said Tuesday during an interview.
NAFTA deals with numerous goods and products, but has also become a point of contention in recent years for automakers and autoworkers who see the agreement as harmful to the U.S. and Canadian industry. Although the discussion tone could shift on the U.S. side, Kudlow assured President Trump does not plan to withdraw from NAFTA.
“He’s just going to try a different approach. I can’t offer timing here, but judging from what he told us yesterday, I think he’d like to start that approach rather quickly,” he said.
The original goal was for all three countries to potentially reach an agreement this summer over a new NAFTA treaty to push it through the Republican-controlled congress without many hiccups. With the window quickly closing, it could become more difficult ahead of mid-term elections in the U.S. and a Mexican presidential election looming this fall.