President Donald Trump has repeatedly thundered against NAFTA, promising a “massive” renegotiation of the trade deal, but his attempts are just getting started.
Congress finally approved Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s nominee for the United States Trade Representative on Thursday, allowing the administration to begin “fast track” trade discussions with Congress. Lighthizer’s nomination was stalled in the Senate for four months, effectively freezing attempts from the administration to move forward on NAFTA.
Despite efforts by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro to progress Trump’s trade agenda, Congress insisted that Lighthizer be confirmed and in place before continuing fast track negotiations, according to White House sources.
“I would call it a slow track to hell,” a White House senior aide said in an interview with Breitbart News, blaming Republicans opposed to renegotiating trade deals and Democrats eager to stall Trump’s agenda. The administration still has to formally notify Congress of its intentions to renegotiate NAFTA, triggering a 90-day waiting period.