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Patricia O'Connell
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Stephen Claeys Quoted in Media Coverage of Panel Discussion on USMCA Negotiations

Inside U.S. Trade, Politico
April 24, 2019

Stephen J. Claeys, a partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, was quoted by Inside U.S. Trade’s World Trade Online and Politico in coverage of an April 22 panel discussion at Georgetown University Law Center, about negotiations for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

As summarized in the articles, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena has made it clear that Mexico will not accept a proposal from several congressional Democrats to increase enforcement of labor standards in the USMCA if it does not apply to the U.S. as well. As a result, Democrats are being called on to be clearer about what types of provisions would persuade them to support the deal.

In an April 23 Inside U.S. Trade article, Mr. Claeys, a former trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, agreed that Democrats must “get down on paper what it is that they are looking for” and clearly communicate their goals to the Administration.

In an April 23 Politico article, Mr. Claeys said that the future of the USMCA could depend on President Trump’s willingness to negotiate with Democrats.

“I’m not so sure what the appetite is in the White House, and particularly the president, to pay to get this agreement,” Mr. Claeys said.

In an additional April 23 Inside U.S. Trade article, Mr. Claeys said the administration had yet to initiate a “full-court,” Cabinet-level push on Capitol Hill. Mr. Claeys called such efforts a tricky “chicken-and-egg type thing,” adding “you don’t want to do it too early because you will be wasting resources, wasting time, but you don’t want to do it too late.”

“You don’t want to do it until you have the idea that it is going to move,” Mr. Claeys said.

The Inside U.S. Trade articles can be found here and here (subscription required).

The Politico article can be found here.