The White House is reportedly considering drafting an executive order stating its intent to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The White House statement said that Trump spoke with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two leaders agreed on the importance of reaching a negotiated agreement, recognizing the integrated nature of the industry between Canada and the United States.
It says Trudeau "refuted the baseless allegations" by the U.S. Commerce Department about Canadian lumber.
President Trump would not necessarily need an executive order to withdraw from the trade agreement. "The message here is that the USA not only talks tough, it acts tough". Trump did, though, sign an order to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
As he approaches his 100th day in office, Trump and his advisers are hurriedly working to check off promises made during the campaign, one of which was to renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA.
He said those industries could qualify for protection under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which lets the president impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security and was used to launch a probe of steel imports, the Journal reported. Froman suggested that they calculated that they might get a better deal from Trump.
By law, the U.S. Congress must be involved at multiple steps: in approving a formal notice to renegotiate, in developing the negotiating positions, and then in voting to ratify a deal. The debate played out in the press Wednesday as some outlets quoted officials insisting the signing was imminent, while other officials dismissed the reports as "just a rumor".
Freeland says she has had "detailed and substantive" discussions with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in recent days but the two sides are still far apart. And it is unclear what would happen next.
During the last softwood lumber dispute, Canada shed 20,000 forestry jobs between 2000 and 2006, and about 400 sawmills closed entirely between 2004 and 2009.
A week after President Donald Trump called Canada a "disgrace" for policies that hurt Wisconsin dairy farmers, he's slapping tariffs on Canadian lumber.
The White House is telling US media that it's weighing a plan to pull out of NAFTA, upping the pressure on Congress to get cracking on negotiations under the threat of having the seminal trade deal obliterated.
There were certainly jitters in Congress. Pro-NAFTA senators urged Trump to be careful. "Everyone thinks of Canada being wonderful and civil", Mr Trump told a roundtable meeting of farmers at the White House on Tuesday.
"Obviously, the companies are not going to sell their lumber if they are going to lose money", he said.
The White House had expressed frustration at lawmakers' failure to share its sense of urgency on NAFTA. The U.S. and Canada, among the most open economies in the world, enjoy a booming cross-border trade.
The letter spelled out few details and stuck with broad principles.
"They are going to have some tough decisions to make and soon", said Nighbor.
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