Following President Trump's announcement that he wants to speed up the statutory guidelines for a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and ranking member Richard Neal (D-MA) downplayed the idea while expressing confidence that the administration's trade team will adhere to the rules laid out in Trade Promotion Authority legislation.
[Daily News| February 2, 2017 |Inside US Trade]
Trump, following a Feb. 2 meeting with Brady and Neal – as well as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- said he wants to get talks with Mexico and Canada going “very soon” and that his pick for Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, will be representing the U.S. in those negotiations.
“We are working very hard, and will be very soon, as soon as we get the go-ahead, we have the 90-day period that we have to think about but we want get that whole thing kick-started and going,” Trump told reporters after the meeting at the White House.
“We have some statutory limits, and we don't have to have those statutory limits so it's very important. All of the statutory guidelines we're adhering to I would like to speed it up if possible,” he added.
But both Brady and Neal told Inside U.S. Trade after the meeting that there will be no change to TPA rules and emphasized that Trump's comments did not constitute a formal notification to Congress to trigger a 90-day period before the U.S. can enter into negotiations for a trade agreement.