Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, announced that if Congress is not notified that a finalized agreement has been completed for revising NAFTA by May 17, Congress will not be able to pass any revised NAFTA this year. The announcement has Mexican, Canadian, and American trade teams scrambling to find ways to finish the deal by this Thursday but prospects are looking very grim and the trade justice movement celebrates a small victory in the battle of prolonguing the negotiations so that they are not merely tweaks to a failed deal but a complete replacement.

Get the word out on Twitter: It is an act of great arrogance to attempt to finalize a deal that did damage to thousands of people in a few days just to attain a ‘political win’. NAFTA must not be tweaked, it must be replaced. #ReplaceNAFTA

Mexican Economy Minister Idelfonso Guajardo announced that he did not expect the deal to be reached by May 17th given there are numerous issues which have not been addressed. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross specified that amongst key issues are rules of origin, the five-year sunset provision, dispute resolution mechanisms and labor standards.

Trade for people and planet does not support quick deal-making that sustains the status quo for short-term political gains. Economic matters between key trading partners within North America must be done with intention, with participatory mechanisms which put working people and protecting the environment as priorities and principal objectives.

We reject the corporatism through which the Trump administration is making alliances with private corporations which are meant to loyally serve his government. Trickle down economics has not worked in a time in which most of the new wealth generally in the US economy has gone to the few at the top while worker wages remain stagnant. This is far more unacceptable considering the great environmental danger of Trump’s policy of supporting pipeline projects and increased extraction, specially in the context of their violating Native American peoples’ sovereignty.

No more deals negotiated behind closed doors and in direct contact with corporate lobbyists. We need agreements that make the economy prosper for working people and in the environment’s conservation. #ReplaceNAFTA

This is a deal that cost thousands of people their jobs, from manufacturing workers in the United States to family farmers throughout Mexico. A fair deal is a deal that considers reparations for the damages done to these people and actively includes them in any decision-making process. But the people who have gained work in new industries must not feel that their livelihood is being threatened either. To learn from the mistakes of the past, negotiations must happen a different way entirely. With different priorities and with deep humility. To attempt finalize NAFTA in a couple of days is an act of great arrogance and shows that negotiators are not committed to avoid the same patterns that caused the deal’s initial failures to start with.

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