"Personally," Trump said, "I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of"
President Donald Trump speaks to the Independent Community Bankers Association in the Kennedy Garden of the White House, Monday, May 1, 2017, in Washington. Photo: AP/Evan Vucci, photo: AP/Evan Vucci
23 of August 2017 14:53:45
WASHINGTON – Just a week into talks to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Donald Trump is already threatening to abandon the 23-year-old pact with Canada and Mexico.At a high-profile campaign-style rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, Trump predicted that the United States would "end up probably terminating" NAFTA "at some point," though he said he hadn't made a final decision."Personally," Trump said, "I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of."The president had made the same threat in April but then reversed himself after a pushback from U.S. businesses, especially farm groups, which have benefited from expanded access to the Mexican market resulting from NAFTA.
The president's renewed threat Tuesday reignited such concerns."Abruptly ending NAFTA could create a string of unintended consequences that need to be carefully considered," said Ann Wilson, an executive at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, which represents auto suppliers. "Mexico and Canada are trusted trade partners to the U.S., and, as a result, we are strong national security partners. We should not take that for granted."NAFTA erased most trade barriers separating the U.S., Canada and Mexico and fostered a rapid rise in commerce and closer diplomatic ties among the three countries. But the agreement has long fueled heated criticism in the United States because it led some U.S.-based manufacturers to move operations south of the border to capitalize on lower-wage Mexican labor.Trump has condemned NAFTA as "the worst trade deal in history" and promised to fix it — or drop out of it altogether.As negotiations on a NAFTA overhaul began last week in Washington, there was wide agreement on the need to modernize the pact to reflect changes over the past two decades, such as the rise of e-commerce.Still, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer warned that the United States wouldn't settle for a "mere tweaking of a few provisions and an updating of a few chapters." Saying NAFTA had cost the U.S. hundreds of thousands of jobs, Lighthizer insisted on the need to take steps to reduce the U.S.'s trade deficit and to ensure that more of the goods that qualify for NAFTA's duty-free status be made in the United States. Canada and Mexico oppose that idea.
Trump declares the death of NAFTA in a state that depends on trade with Mexico pic.twitter.com/xpf8sJuL30— José Díaz-Briseño (@diazbriseno) 23 de agosto de 2017