U.S. is run­ning out of time on NAFTA

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - NATION+WORLD -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s team is run­ning out of time to re­write a trade pact with Canada and Mex­ico this year just as it’s con­fronting China and spar­ring with its al­lies over U.S. tar­iffs on im­ported steel and alu­minum.

If ne­go­tia­tors can’t agree on a re­vamped the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment soon — House Speaker Paul Ryan set an in­for­mal Thurs­day dead­line — the talks could drag into 2019. Or Trump could carry out his threat to aban­don the agree­ment he’s la­beled a job-killing “dis­as­ter” and throw com­merce among the three NAFTA coun­tries into dis­ar­ray.

“The win­dow is clos­ing rapidly,” said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer at Dick­in­son Wright in Colum­bus, Ohio.

NAFTA is hardly the only ur­gent item on the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s trade agenda. Trump was ex­pected to meet Thurs­day with China’s Vice Premier Liu He to try to avert a trade war. Liu will also meet with a U.S. team led by Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin.

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