U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer says 'Nowhere Near' Close to Nafta Deal.

“The Nafta countries are nowhere near close to a deal,” U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement, citing “gaping differences” on intellectual property, agricultural trade, duty-free levels for shipments, labor rules, and other areas.

All three Nafta countries — Mexico, Canada and the U.S. — had sought to wrap up a deal before the height of the U.S. midterm season and before Mexico’s presidential election on July 1. Ryan, who had originally set Thursday, May 17 as a deadline, sought to offer Lighthizer and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts more time to reach a deal this spring that could still get a vote before a new Congress takes office in January.

In China

The BBC reports China drops sanctions probe into US sorghum imports.

In April, Beijing introduced a high tariff on the imports as part of a tit-for-tat trade spat between with the US. But China's commerce ministry has now said the measures affect consumers and are not in the public interest.

The US is the world's leading producer of sorghum, and is the largest supplier of the grain to China. Sorghum is a grain used primarily to feed livestock, but it is also used to create ethanol, or drinking alcohol.

China said a final ruling on whether to continue April's 178.6% tariffs would be made after a further investigation

China Hardball

Chinese hardball with the US resulted in Rotting Cherries, Spoiled Pork, and Ford Car Inspections that required dismantling entire engine assemblies.


Trump pulled back, citing concern over jobs, not in the US, but amazingly in China. For details, please see Trump's pledge to help China's ZTE spurs backlash in Washington.

EU Hardball

China is willing to play hardball with Trump. The EU, Mexico, and Canada are not.

in the EU, Europe is Pressured to Cancel Russia Pipeline to Avoid Trade War.

The EU caved in with Windbag Jean-Claude Juncker's Pathetic Bluff Regarding Iran Sanctions.


China knows how to play hardball, the EU doesn't. That said, the EU will at some point be forced to respond and the results won't be pretty.

Trump may appear to be winning, but trade wars are lose-lose policies. The longer they linger, the more each side loses.

The difference with China is the US has already backpedaled.

However, it may not last. Trump has been known to change his mind.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Trump Hails "Big Progress" on Trade Deal With China

Supposedly there is "big progress" on a comprehensive trade deal with China. Color me skeptical.

Brexit Deal "Sufficient Progress" Made: Divorce Talk Round Two Begins

UK Prime Minister Theresa May caved in on enough things allowing the EU negotiators to proclaim "Sufficient Progress".

China Nowhere Close to Becoming a Global Financial Center for Many Reasons

China lowered the official limit on US dollar withdrawals from $5,000 to $3,000. One woman could not get a mere $200.

No Foolin' This Time We're Close, Really Close to Trade Deal With China

Trump says we're really close to a deal with China but “major, major issues left,” says trade rep Robert Lighthizer.

Trump Threatens to Kill NAFTA if Congress Doesn't Approve His New Deal

“I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way home from Argentina

Hooray! "Substantial" Progress With China (Just Don't Ask Where)

Trump announced substantial progress but trade experts wonder where.

5th Round of NAFTA Talks Collapse: Who's to Blame? What's at Stake?

The 5th round of NAFTA talks between the US, Canada, and Mexico was a complete disaster. It's a lose, lose, lose setup.

China Trade Deal "Success": Details None

The US and China both claim trade talk success. There are literally no details.

Trump's Hand-Picked Winners and Losers: China vs Canada, NAFTA Threats, and P&G

As a single country, China is the US's largest trading partner but Canada is the largest export partner.