The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with a new deal that would be intended to encourage more manufacturing in the United States.
At the same time, President Donald Trump threatened to keep Canada, the third member of NAFTA, out of any new trade agreement. In announcing the tentative accord Monday at the White House, Trump said a new pact would be called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”
Trump said he was open to including Canada — “if they’d like to negotiate fairly.” He threatened to impose new taxes on Canadian auto imports to intensify pressure on Ottawa to a agree to deal to Trump’s liking.
Canada’s NAFTA negotiator, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, is cutting short a trip to Europe to fly to Washington Tuesday to try to restart talks.
“We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” said Adam Austen, a spokesman for Freeland, adding that “Canada’s signature is required.”
Update: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is cutting short her diplomatic trip to Europe to head to Washington for trade talks with the United States.
Freeland will fly to Washington on Tuesday after the Trump administration and Mexico said they have reached a preliminary accord to end the North American Free Trade Agreement and replace it.
The New York Times, said that the United States and Mexico have reached agreement to revise key portions of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement and a preliminary deal could be announced on Monday, a crucial step toward revamping a trade pact that has appeared on the brink of collapse during the past year of negotiations.
Reaching an agreement on how to revise some of the most contentious portions of what President Trump has long called the worst trade pact in history would give Mr. Trump a significant win in a trade war he has started with countries around the globe, including Mexico, Canada, the European Union and China.
Still, a preliminary agreement between the United States and Mexico would fall far short of actually revising Nafta. The preliminary agreement still excludes Canada, which is also a party to Nafta but has been absent from talks held in Washington in recent weeks.
The agreement with Mexico centers on rules governing the automobile industry, resolving a big source of friction, but leaves aside other contentious issues that affect all three countries.