U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday there was no need to keep Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement and warned Congress not to meddle with the trade negotiations or he would terminate the trilateral trade pact altogether.
Wall Street Journal reports that Trump’s warning on Saturday comes a day after U.S. and Canadian negotiators failed to reach an agreement on Friday, a deadline he set, to revamp the trade deal that includes Mexico. The two sides have agreed to continue the trade talks.
His threat via Twitter coincided with the services at Washington National Cathedral attended by many congressional leaders for the late Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, a frequent adversary.
“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decade of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off.” He and other senior U.S. officials have indicated a willingness to replace Nafta with a bilateral Mexico deal in the event Canada and the U.S. can’t resolve differences.
While the president does have the power to terminate the pact, with six months’ notice, it isn’t clear if such a decision could withstand legal challenges, of which there would likely be many.