WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he intends to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement and call its replacement “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — a name that would exclude the third NAFTA partner, Canada.
Trump made the comments after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which Trump has called a job-killing “disaster.” Details of the U.S.-Mexico agreement were expected to be unveiled later Monday.
The president says he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump says, “If they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that.”
He also threatened to tax Canadian auto imports to increase the pressure on Canada’s government.
“We could have a separate deal (with Canada) or we could put it into this deal,” Trump said.
Trump said Monday during an Oval Office event that he’ll be calling the emerging agreement the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.” He says it will mark the end of the NAFTA name.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was on speakerphone and says he hopes NAFTA partner Canada will eventually be incorporated into the deal.
Adam Austen, a spokesman for the Canadian Foreign Minister, says Canada had been in regular contact with the NAFTA negotiators.
“We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” said Austen. “Canada’s signature is required.”