Trump NAFTA comments relieve pact supporters
A string of calming comments from Donald Trump about NAFTA has trade proponents across the continent breathing some relief that the U.S. president’s trigger finger may not be about to blow up the deal after all.
Trump made about a halfdozen such remarks to The Wall Street Journal, cooling red-hot speculation in Canada following news reports that said Trump might be planning to issue a notice of withdrawal from NAFTA sometime after this month’s round of bargaining.
A transcript of the interview shows Trump saying of the negotiations: “We’re moving along nicely,’’ “There’s no rush,’’ “I’m leaving it a little flexible,’’ “We have a chance of making a reasonable deal,’’ “We’ve made a lot of headway.’’
Trump also said a new NAFTA would provide benefits that pay for his proposed border wall with Mexico. He added that he understands it’s tough for Mexico to deal with these negotiations during its current election.
Yes, he repeated his threat to cancel the agreement if he can’t get a better deal. Observers still view a U.S. withdrawal notice as a potential bargaining ploy at some point. But his comments were viewed as overwhelmingly pointing against an imminent pullout.