Says will renegotiate trilateral trade agreement with Mexico, Canada to make it ‘fair’28 Apr 2017 | 1:56 AM
WASHINGTON:US President Donald Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out from the NAFTA treaty for now but will swiftly begin renegotiating the trilateral deal with them, a White House statement said.[ + read story ]
Liberty at ‘risk’: Activists from Amnesty dressed as the Statue of Liberty take part in a demonstration to mark the first 100 days in office of US President Donald Trump outside the US Embassy in London on Thursday. AFP
Washington, April 27
US President Donald Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out from the NAFTA treaty for now but will swiftly begin renegotiating the trilateral deal with them, a White House statement said.
Trump spoke with both President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada over phone and decided to not terminate the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the White House said.
NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the US to create a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
“It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation. 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,” Trump said according to a readout of the call issued by the White House.
“Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” the White House said.
The announcement comes amid reports that the US is planning to withdraw itself from the trilateral trade bloc.
A draft executive order was in the final stages of review and could be unveiled within a week or two, two White House officials were quoted by Politico news website.
The New York Times recently quoted an unnamed senior administration official saying that Trump is likely to sign an executive action that would begin the process of withdrawing the US from NAFTA.
“The White House wants Congress to approve those negotiations under legislation that would allow expedited approval of the reworked agreement, but talks between administration officials and congressional Republicans have moved slowly. The order would give Trump a credible alternative,” the daily reported. — PTI
If pact ends, industry will be hit hard
North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into force in 1994, is signed by Canada, Mexico and the US to create a trilateral trade bloc in North America
A disruption in trade between the three NAFTA partners would hit profits of companies that have benefited from zero-level tariffs and Mexico's relatively low labor costs
Trump has long accused Mexico of destroying US jobs. The US went from running a small trade surplus with Mexico in the early 1990s to a $63 billion deficit in 2016
During his presidential campaign, Trump had been very critical of the trilateral pact, terming it as a raw deal for the middle class and "very bad for US companies"