BREAKING NEWS: Trump May Withdraw US From NAFTA
President Donald Trump may sign an executive order setting in motion a process for withdrawing the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, several news outlets are reporting.
The move would come on the heals of the imposition of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber and of remarks made by the president with respect to Canadian dairy policies which allegedly impact US exports.
President Trump had a telephone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday about these issues. The White House described the call as amicable, yet the Canadian readout of the encounter suggests that it was contentious.
Trump promised on the campaign trail and in the early days of his administration to renegotiate the accord with Mexico and to tweak the agreement with Canada. His anti-NAFTA rhetoric has grown increasingly heated, describing it as a disaster for both US-Mexico and US-Canada trade.
NAFTA has been in force since 1994 and has seen US manufacturing exports to Canada and Mexico increase 258 percent and a US surplus in the agriculture and manufactured goods trades. The deal eliminated most trade tariffs between the three nations, increased investments, and enhanced the integration of the North American economy. Many is industries, notably the auto industry, have relied on NAFTA provisions to optimize and integrate their supply chains.
It’s unclear at this point whether the supposed executive order will come about or what its purpose will be if it does. It’s possible it will be Trump’s dramatic opening move to renegotiate NAFTA.
On the other hand, Trump has expressed disdain for multilateral trade agreement and he did pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the early days of his administration.