Law360 Quotes Stephen Kho on Potential Pitfalls of NAFTA Renegotiation Focus on Trade Deficits

Law360 has quoted Akin Gump international trade partner Stephen Kho in the article “Trump’s Trade Deficit Focus Could Backfire In NAFTA,” which reports that the Trump administration’s efforts to narrow the bilateral trade deficits with Mexico and Canada could hurt Washington’s ability to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The article notes that the administration has been very open about its desire to boost U.S. exports. To cut the trade deficit, however, President Trump will also likely insist on imposing new restrictions on the U.S. market.

Kho, a former associate general counsel in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, said an outsized focus on trade deficits would quickly create headaches in the NAFTA process. “It doesn’t bode well for a win-win situation,” he said. “A trade deficit view or a trade deficit goal seems to suggest that there has to be a win-lose, somebody is losing. In an FTA (free trade agreement) negotiation, the goal is to get to a win-win because why else would the other side sign the agreement with you?”