President Donald Trump has called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a “catastrophe for our country,” now he’s wanting to speed up negotiations for the deal.
This week, the president met with a group of senators and his new commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross.
Trump says he has not decided if NAFTA needs modifications or a whole new trade deal to be negotiated, but he did tell the group trade needs to not only be fair to the U.S., but also free.
“Maybe we do a new NAFTA, and we put an extra “F” in the term NAFTA,” said Trump, explaining the extra letter would stand for free trade. “Free and fair trade because it’s very unfair. All of these statutory guidelines we’re adhering to, I would like to speed it up if possible.”
The president’s comments come one day after Mexico kicked off the countdown on trade negotiations. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Wednesday he would start trade negations to reform NAFTA in May following a 90-day consultation period with Mexican businesses.
Canada’s trade minister says the country is willing to renegotiate NAFTA. According to press accounts in Canada, the country is worried about jeopardizing its trade relations with the U.S. while at the same time developing better relations with Mexico.