The biggest roadblock to a successful renegotiation of NAFTA may be the fact that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer is not actually seeking free trade. Instead, he has made it clear that the Trump administration is prepared to risk forfeiting overall economic gains in pursuit of balanced trade, in the name of an abstract view of sovereignty.
When the USTR meets with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts on Wednesday, Lighthizer will be pursuing an agenda under which NAFTAs dispute-settlement mechanism would be diluted, government procurement contracts would be restricted, autos…

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