White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Friday that the administration was “very, very close” to pushing Congress to vote on its trade deal with Mexico without Canada involved in the deal. Some in Congress view Canada’s assent as necessary to prevent the deal from potentially upsetting the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“We’re still talking to Canada, and we’re getting very, very close to the deadline where we’re going to have to move ahead with Mexico all by themselves,” Hassett said in an interview with Fox News.
Administration officials have been in talks with Canada for weeks in an effort to reach an agreement. While the administration has steadfastly maintained that Canada’s sign-off is not needed for the bilateral U.S.-Mexico deal, many lawmakers have urged the administration to bring Canada on board before bringing it Congress for a vote.