Trump’s request lands at a particularly busy time for the Office of the US Trade Representative, which is in the midst of NAFTA talks and evaluating a series of tariffs Trump has threatened to impose on China.

Whatever the US does on CPTPP is bound to affect those negotiations. The deal, which covers Pacific-rim countries in Asia and the Americas, was conceived as a counterbalance to China. Canada and Mexico are both signatories.

On Thursday, Trump provided no clues of how the US would proceed on CPTPP—or on NAFTA. Despite reports that the three NAFTA parties are getting closer to an agreement, there is no set timeline to finish, he said at a meeting with agricultural state leaders.

“I’ve told it to the Mexicans: We can negotiate forever,” he added. “Because as long as we have this negotiation going, nobody is going to build billion-dollar plants in Mexico, which is what they’ve been doing a lot.  They have taken our auto industry by the throat.”

This story has been updated to include comment from the White House.

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