Anyone hoping for a quick resolution to NAFTA’s renegotiation is set to be disappointed. Speaking to a Senate panel Wednesday morning, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would not commit to concluding renegotiation of the free trade deal with Canada and Mexico by the end of the year. He said there would be three days of public hearings on potential changes to it set for June 27, 28 and 29, and that he expects talks to kick off Aug. 16. On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised he would leave the deal, which he described as terrible and a job-killer, when he took office. He did not; in May, he told Congress he would renegotiate it instead.
U.S. to issue more work visas this summer
The Homeland Security Department has decided to offer extra visas for temporary, seasonal workers, a department spokesman said Wednesday. DHS spokesman David Lapan said Homeland Security John Kelly hasn’t decided how many visas will be offered but that number should be set soon. Lapan said the department expects to start issuing visas as soon as late July. The government offers 66,000 such visas a year, and the extra visas will be available to companies that show they’d be significantly harmed if they aren’t able to temporarily hire foreign workers.
Clooney, partner to sell tequila brand
Global liquor behemoth Diageo said Wednesday it will pay up to $1 billion to buy a tequila brand co-founded by movie star George Clooney. Clooney founded the Casamigos brand four years ago with partners Rande Gerber and Mike Meldma. Diageo said it will pay $700 million for Casamigos at first, and then pay another $300 million over 10 years if the brand reaches certain performance milestones. London-based Diageo’s other brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Captain Morgan. Clooney and Gerber, an entrepreneur who is married to model Cindy Crawford, have appeared in ads for the brand.