White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Sunday that the administration is hoping to lay the groundwork for congressional approval of the new trade agreement with its North American neighbors this summer.
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“We’re hoping to get implementing legislation onto the floor of the House and the Senate this summer. That’s what we’re targeting,” Navarro told “Sunday Morning Futures,” adding that he believes the deal will pass.
The future of the trade pact, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, was put in jeopardy this month due to President Trump’s threat of imposing tariffs on imported Mexican goods in an effort to get the country to control the flow of migrants into the U.S. However, the president ultimately suspended implementation of the tariffs after he said Mexico agreed to “take strong measures to stem the tide of migration” to the border with the U.S.
“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump tweeted on June 7. “The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”
Trump added, in a separate tweet, that Mexico agreed to buy "large quantities" of agricultural products from U.S. farmers.
U.S. trade with Mexico totaled an estimated $671 billion last year, while trade with Canada totaled approximately $714.1 billion in 2018, according to data from the U.S. trade representative’s office. Trade with two countries supports more than 12 million jobs in America, according to Business Roundtable, which says “withdrawing weakening trade with these partners would hurt the American economy, jeopardizing millions of American jobs and undercut U.S. global competitiveness.”
The USMCA was signed by Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada in November 2018 and is meant to replace the previous trilateral trade deal, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump and members of the administration, including Navarro, have referred to NAFTA as “the worst trade deal” in U.S. history.