WASHINGTON, D.C. – NAFTA negotiators won’t be able to hammer out a deal by today to meet Paul Ryan’s deadline according to Canadian and Mexican sources.
The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives told reporters a deal on the trade negotiation would have to be cemented by May 17 if it were to be ratified before 2019.
The Toronto Star is reporting those close to the process say there won’t be a deal – even in principle – in order to meet that timeline.
While talks will continue, there is the possibility they will face serious disruptions because of upcoming elections. Mexicans will head to the polls in July to elect a President, while the U.S. Congress will be up for grabs in the midterm elections in November.
Ryan has previously said a new Congress could change negotiating priorities for the deal.
Negotiators have been stuck on several issues including coming to a consensus on how cars are built in the three countries, the dairy market, government procurement, and dispute resolution.
Exemptions for Canada on stricter steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the U.S. will expire on June 1, leaving President Trump with the decision on whether to extend them if there is no new NAFTA deal in place. The 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum imported into the U.S. were imposed in March.
Negotiators will be going back to the table with on-going discussions focusing on the auto market for the time being.