The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994, and superseded the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada. The NAFTA trade bloc is one of the largest trade blocs in the world by GDP. After U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he sought to replace NAFTA with a new agreement, beginning negotiations with Canada and Mexico. In September 2018, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to replace NAFTA with the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). NAFTA will remain in force, pending the ratification of the USMCA.

Amid Partisan Spectacle in Washington, Work Quietly Goes On

from The Wall Street Journal,

A bitter political fight hasn’t derailed policy negotiations between the Trump administration and Democrats.

On one screen was high political theater, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi starring in the lead role. The House then moved to pass a resolution condemning the president’s remarks as racist, capping off days of back-and-forth over the remarks.

On the other screen were prosaic policy negotiations with members of the Trump administration. Mrs. Pelosi spoke twice on Tuesday with Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin as they attempt to reach an agreement on overall spending levels and raising the debt ceiling. Both Mr. Mnuchin and Mrs. Pelosi have characterized those discussions as productive. Mrs. Pelosi also met on Tuesday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Trump administration’s intended replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement.House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.), who attended the meeting, said it was productive.

Of course, House Democrats and the Trump administration have not yet reached an agreement on many of those issues. But even against the backdrop of such a partisan spectacle, the negotiations continued—a reminder that even the most potent political explosions will not necessarily derail shared policy priorities.

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