President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he wants separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), The Wall Street Journal reports.
“I think Justin understands this, if we can’t make a deal, it will be terminated and that will be fine,” Trump said Wednesday alongside Canadian Prime Minister Jusitn Trudeau. The President added that he aims to “renegotiate” the 23-year-old trade pact.
“It’s possible we won’t be able to reach a deal with one or the other. But in the meantime, we’ll make a deal with one.” Trump said when asked if he would consider separate deals with Canada and Mexico.
According to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, Trump will work “in good faith” to renegotiate NAFTA in a way that will benefit the three countries.
“My optimism is based on how good NAFTA has been for millions of citizens in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and I know there are opportunities to significantly improve this trade deal that will benefit citizens right across the U.S.,” Trudeau said after his meeting with Trump.
However, Trudeau added that there might be difficulties during the renegotiations, since, as he said, “circumstances are often challenging, and we have to be ready for anything.”
Trudeau also noted that “Canadians are aware the Trump administration makes decisions that surprise people from time to time.” Meanwhile, Mexican officials have said they would stop negotiating, should Trump gives formal notice of intent to withdraw from NAFTA, The Journal adds.
On Wednesday, Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that the talks get more difficult as the rounds progress, noting that “as long as you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it’s always possible” to find solutions.
Guajardo added that Mexico is willing to grant the U.S. part of what Trump is seeking, without destroying value, although it would be more likely that the U.S. gets up from the table than Mexico. “Mexico is prepared to stick to its position, regardless of whether the U.S. considers that what we’ve put on the table isn’t enough.” he undescored.
Trump repeatedly warned about withdrawing from NAFTA during his presidential campaign, describing the trade pact as a “disaster”, The Journal adds.