With Billions At Stake, Trump Agrees To Mend NAFTA - Not End It

Judith Bessette
Mai 9, 2017

"I decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big shock to the system, we will renegotiate".

Tempering yet another of his campaign promises, U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will not withdraw the country from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

In the interview with CBS' "Face the Nation", Trump insisted on Saturday that he was going to terminate the agreement with Canada and Mexico, before having a change of heart when the leaders of both countries reached out to him. "I like them very much". I said I will hold on the termination.

The monthly global auto report says restrictions could harm the American auto industry, which is a major supplier of auto parts to Canada and, in particular, Mexico.

NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States to create a trilateral trade bloc in North America. But it may have been even harder on the USA, and Trump would have faced intense opposition from business groups and high-profile Republicans in Congress.

Trump tweeted that the leaders of Canada and Mexico agreed to re-negotiate NAFTA.

But Trump also said that he would terminate NAFTA "if we're unable to make a deal, but hopefully we won't have to do that". That doesn't mean that we shouldn't have agreements, that we shouldn't have friendly trade negotiations. They point to B.C. Premier Christy Clark's demand that Ottawa ban the shipment of all thermal coal - including US thermal coal - through British Columbia in retaliation for softwood lumber duties.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke personally with President Trump only days after there was talk of putting together an executive order to completely withdraw from NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).

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FILE - In this January 23, 2017, file photo, Vice President Mike Pence, left, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, right, watch as President Donald Trump shows off an executive order to withdraw the US from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

Then, in March, the administration sent a draft letter to Congress spelling out plans to renegotiate NAFTA.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told BuzzFeed on Thursday, "I don't think that kind of the unclear message is helpful". Trump told reporters on Thursday. He expressed that, yes, he was very much thinking about cancelling.

The dispute played out in the media, with several outlets saying Mr Trump would take the most dramatic available step - issuing an executive order declaring his intention to withdraw from the treaty.

The first administration source told Reuters that there were diverging opinions within the US government about how to proceed and it was possible that Trump could sign the executive order before the 100-day mark of his presidency.

During his entire presidential campaign, Trump has been very critical of NAFTA, which came into force in 1994.

Brown agrees on the matter of toughness, adding Ottawa must push back on the Trump administration's tariff on softwood lumber and its renewed attacks on Canadian dairy farmers.

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