President Trump, “I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly.”
President Donald Trump said Saturday he will give formal notice to the US Congress in the near future to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), giving 6 months for lawmakers to approve a new trade deal signed Friday.
“I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way home from Argentina.
“Just so you understand, when I do that – if for any reason we’re unable to make a deal because of Congress then Congress will have a choice” of the new deal or returning to trade rules from before 1994 when NAFTA took effect, he said.
President Trump said the trade rules before NAFTA “work very well.”
President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a new trade agreement Friday known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
President Trump’s decision to set in motion a possible end to largely free trade in North America comes amid some skepticism from Democrats about the new trade deal.
The leaders of the 3 countries agreed on a deal in principle to replace NAFTA, which governs more than $1.2-T of mutual trade, after negotiations concluded on 30 September.
President Trump had vowed to revamp NAFTA during his 2016 Presidential election campaign. He threatened to tear it up and withdraw the United States completely at times during the negotiation, which would have left trade between the three neighbors in disarray.
Legislators in Canada and Mexico must still approve the pact.
President Trump forced Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the 24-year-old agreement because he said it encouraged US companies to move jobs to low-wage Mexico.
US objections to Canada’s protected internal market for dairy products was a major challenge facing negotiators during the talks, and Trump repeatedly demanded concessions and accused Canada of hurting US farmers.
Have a terrific week.