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Stephen Claeys Discusses How Midterm Results Could Impact the Administration’s Trade Agenda

Law360
November 7, 2018

Stephen J. Claeys, a partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, was quoted in a November 7 Law360 article regarding how the Democrats’ renewed control of the U.S. House of Representatives could effect the Administration’s trade agenda.

According to Law360, the first debate between the newly emboldened Democrats and the White House will be over the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which the administration struck in September to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

While USMCA maintains much of the status quo in NAFTA and includes updates that the Democrats could find agreeable such as automotive tariff benefits being attached to a $16 federal minimum wage, Law360 points out that it’s uncertain if Democrats will fully support the administration’s trade policy; if they attempt  to add new language regarding aspects of labor and environment into side letters or the deal’s impending legislation, it could turn Republicans against the revised deal.

“One of the risks is by chasing for Democratic votes, you’re going to lose Republican votes or at least Republican enthusiasm,” said Mr. Claeys.

The article can be found here (subscription required).