ibusinesslines.com December 14, 2018

Trump Tells Canada And Mexico He Will Renegotiate, Not Withdraw From NAFTA

27 April 2017, 03:49 | Erica Roy

Trump Tells Canada And Mexico He Will Renegotiate, Not Withdraw From NAFTA

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington Wednesday April 26 2017 for a meeting with Senators to discuss the Koreas

He spoke late on Wednesday afternoon with his two counterparts, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to the White House.

US President Donald Trump has told the leaders of Canada and Mexico he won't withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) "at this time", but will begin renegotiating it with them.

Trump told The Associated Press in an interview last week that he planned to either renegotiate or terminate NAFTA, which he and other critics blame for wiping out US manufacturing jobs because it allowed companies to move factories to Mexico to take advantage of low-wage labor.

"I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better".

The announcement came after White House officials disclosed that Trump and his advisers had been considering issuing an executive order to withdraw the United States from the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, one of the world's biggest trading blocs.

The reversal surprised markets, sending the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar higher after losses earlier this week. Trump railed against the decades-old trade deal during his campaign, describing it as a "disaster".

Trump's decision also followed two developments this week on the North American trade front.

It was under an executive order signed by Trump on January 23 that the United States pulled out of the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Trump has blamed NAFTA for hollowing out America's manufacturing sector by relocating jobs to lower-cost Mexico, which his administration initially said was the main target of changes he was seeking to the accord.

"It hurts us with Canada, and it hurts us with Mexico", he said.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to comment on the order, which was first reported by Politico.

During his run for office past year, Trump made his disdain for NAFTA a central component of a populist message created to engender support among working class Americans.

Trump called U.S. District Judge William Orrick's preliminary injunction against his order stripping money from sanctuary cities "ridiculous" on Twitter.

Trump's comments on NAFTA came just days after the United States imposed 20 percent tariffs on softwood lumber coming from Canada.

Canada said it was ready to talk on renewing NAFTA at any time. "Canada is ready to come to the table at any time", said Alex Lawrence, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

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