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Trump administration faces crunch week on trade

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17th-May-2018       
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AFP, Washington :
President Donald Trump's trade team faces a crunch week as they juggle talks on multiple sensitive issues representing hundreds of billions in trade amid pressing deadlines.
High-stakes negotiations will take place with China, the European Union and Washington's two North American Free Trade Agreement partners.
And while the talks have been going on for weeks and months, key deadlines are fast approaching-critically for NAFTA. Officials have been working furiously to update the 24-year-old trade pact that Trump called "a horrible, horrible disaster for this country."
Trump spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday and discussed bringing the talks to quick conclusion, officials from both countries said.
But Mexico Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Tuesday it would be difficult to get a deal on the complex issues this week.
"The possibility of finishing the negotiations between now and Thursday isn't easy," he said on Mexican television. "I don't think it will happen" by then but the negotiations would continue, even through the Mexican presidential elections set for July 1.
And outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week he would need a written agreement for the US Congress to approve a revamped trade pact this year, while Republicans still control the legislature-something that could change in November's midterm elections.

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