Trump trade officials prefer tri-lateral NAFTA deal: U.S. senators

5/16/2017 Reuters

north americaThe Trump administration’s top trade officials hope to keep the North American Free Trade Agreement as a trilateral deal in negotiations with Canada and Mexico to revamp the 23-year-old pact, senators said on Tuesday.

Several members of the Senate Finance Committee said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told them in a closed door meeting that they would prefer the current three-nation format but left open the possibility of parallel bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico.

“Their preference is trilateral,” Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow told reporters after the meeting.

Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said from the meeting it sounded to him as if a trilateral deal was more likely “unless there’s problems” with that approach.

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