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Jonathan Bernstein

Trump Is Defeating His Own Nafta Replacement

The administration negotiated a deal but can’t get organized enough to persuade Congress to pass it.

If he could persuade Canada to go along with it, can’t he persuade his own Congress?

If he could persuade Canada to go along with it, can’t he persuade his own Congress?

Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP, via Getty Images

It’s getting harder and harder to imagine the new Nafta successfully ratified during this Congress. And Donald Trump has only himself to blame for that.

For one thing, the White House strategy on getting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement ratified is still incoherent at best. As Bloomberg’s Jenny Leonard reports, there are at least two factions, surrounding Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with different ideas of how to get it done. That’s not counting whatever acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who threw a grenade into the mix back in April, currently thinks. And as we all know, even if everyone else was on the same page, the disrupter-in-chief can undermine any kind of strategic approach with an impatient tweet based on whatever he sees on Fox News or hears from whoever he happens to talk to.