During the election campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump had called the trade package a "disaster." Now there are to be renegotiations with Canada and Mexico.
Has already had to revise some of the things he once called for: Donald Trump Photo: ap
The U.S. will remain part of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. The White House announced the decision in a surprise move Wednesday. U.S. President Donald Trump had decided not to end the Nafta trade pact at this time, it said. Instead, he said, the U.S. has reached an agreement with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau to renegotiate the agreement.
All three countries should benefit from this, the White House said. The final result of the renegotiation will make all three countries stronger and better, Trump said. During his election campaign, Trump had repeatedly called the agreement a "disaster" and blamed it for job losses in the United States.
The Mexican government confirmed the conversation with Trump in a statement late Wednesday night. Trump and Pena Nieto had agreed on the advisability of preserving Nafta, it said. Together with Canada, successful negotiations would now be sought, from which all three countries should benefit.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s office released a brief statement saying "the two leaders have continued their dialogue on Canada-U.S. trade relations." It said Trudeau stressed the importance of stability and job growth.
The handling of the trade pact has been controversial within the U.S. government. Some administration officials had hoped for a draft executive order on U.S. withdrawal to be signed. Discussion of Nafta had leaked to the press Wednesday after some administration officials spoke of Trump signing the executive order immediately. Trump was expected to want to create facts on the issue before his 100th day in office.
The U.S. could withdraw from the trade pact at any time – but the withdrawal must be announced six months in advance. In addition, it is unclear what will happen in the event of a withdrawal. The announcement of remaining in the trade pact came just one day after the U.S. toughened its tone toward Canada on trade issues. Trump criticized the neighboring country for, among other things, its decision to change its pricing rules for certain dairy products, causing prices to fall.