House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said that the Trump administration has until May 17 to submit a final North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal if it wants lawmakers to vote on the revised agreement this year.

Trade officials from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico have been meeting this week in Washington to work out the deal, knowing that time was running short to get NAFTA through Congress in this legislative session.  Ryan’s comments just added to the pressure to move quickly.

“Time is of the essence because Trade Promotion Authority provides for fast-tracking passage of a trade agreement by putting the deal to an up-or-down vote without any amendments.  “As the author of TPA, we have to have the paper, not just an agreement.  We have to have the paper from USTR by May 17 for us to vote on it this year, in December, in the lame duck,” Ryan said on Wednesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has spoken publically about the need to reach a deal in principle within the next weeks.