ibusinesslines.com September 26, 2018

Trump decides to keep Nafta for now

27 April 2017, 04:03 | Laverne Osborne

Trump decides to keep Nafta for now

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds depictions of himself on

The White House has announced that the United States will not unilaterally withdraw from Nafta, the landmark free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, after multiple reports that Donald Trump was planning to pull out of the deal.

In phone calls to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump "agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time", the White House said in a statement.

"He can do the same thing with his NAFTA order that he can do with his wall", Vela said, alluding to a previous missive to Trump encouraging the future president to "take your border wall and shove it up your ass". "It is an honour to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better".

Via this prospective executive order, the government of President Donald Trump would resort to the clause included in the trade pact, inaugurated in 1994, allowing a member to withdraw from the agreement six months after providing formal notification to the other members, Efe news reported.

This came on Wednesday just hours after administration officials said Trump was likely to sign an order pulling the U.S. out of the deal, the New York Times reported.

But late Wednesday Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross brushed off the reports as "rumor". Trump has also been railing against changes in Canadian milk product pricing that he says are hurting the American dairy industry.

As trade discussions with Canada have intensified in the week leading up to Mr. Trump's first 100 days, the order had been anticipated as a hardline negotiation tactic with the aim of reaching a better agreement.

In this case, the aim would not be so much to withdraw from NAFTA, which Trump has called a "disaster" for the USA, but rather to force Mexico and Canada to more fully engage in renegotiating the trade pact.

"The president has made addressing the problems of NAFTA a priority throughout the campaign, and once the president makes a decision about how he wants to address that, we'll let you know", he said. Cruz has expressed support for renegotiating NAFTA under Trump - he has said doing so is long overdue - but not abandoning it altogether.

Trump campaigned for president on promises to abandon or renegotiate NAFTA, a deal he claims is a "disaster" that has resulted in millions of USA industrial jobs lost mostly to Mexico. However a withdrawal would "be disgraceful and a disaster". Timber and milk, however, are not covered by NAFTA.

With Canada, Trump announced a new tariff on softwood lumber on Tuesday that triggered concerns of a potential trade war between the two countries.

The latest dairy trade row was triggered when Canada extended those policies to apply to ultrafiltered milk, a product used in cheese production and at the centre of a thriving U.S. export business.

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