US traders concerned as Trump plans to renegotiate NAFTA

The US president said he wanted to scrap the deal but changed his mind after Canada and Mexico asked to renegotiate instead. But industry leaders and farmers don‘t seem to be on the same page with him.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A transport truck carries new Toyota trucks through an inspection station after clearing US customs from Mexico at the border in Otay Mesa near San Diego, California, April 28, 2017.

US President Donald Trump said in an interview on Thursday that he was ready to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, but changed his mind after their leaders asked for it to be renegotiated instead.

Trump said he will not hesitate to change course again and pull the plug on NAFTA if the negotiations become "unserious."

He decided that it would be better to terminate the trade deal after hearing about Wisconsin farmers' struggles with new Canadian dairy rules that were shutting out their milk protein exports.

"You saw that, you wrote about it," Trump said. "And I said I’ve had it. I’ve had it."

But after administration officials said a withdrawal order was being prepared, Trump said he received phone calls from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking to renegotiate the pact.

"I’m not looking to hurt Canada and I’m not looking to hurt Mexico. They’re two countries I really like," Trump said. "So they asked to renegotiate, and I said yes."

But US industry leaders and consumers have mixed views on whether the deal should be renegotiated.

TRT World's Azadeh Ansari reports from Florida where many producers and consumers say a fair trade agreement comes down to economics.

TRTWorld and agencies