Trump agrees ‘not to terminate NAFTA at this time’


President Donald Trump told Canadian Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that the U.S. will not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a White House readout of calls Wednesday between the leaders.

“President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” the readout says.

According to Trump, the two leaders called and asked him to consider renegotiating NAFTA, instead of terminating the trade deal.

“I agreed subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA,” Trump tweeted, adding “Relationships are good – deal very possible!”

I received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate. I agreed..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2017

…subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are good-deal very possible!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2017

Earlier Wednesday, an administration official told ABC News that the White House would not comment on rumors that a NAFTA executive order was in the works.

“I would say that NAFTA has obviously been a top priority for the President from day one and it’s safe to say we’ve been working on addressing the issues with it since the beginning,” the official said.

While campaigning for president, Trump slammed NAFTA as a “disaster” and the “worst trade deal in history.”

As president, he has continued to speak out against the trade deal, last week calling it “very, very bad” for American companies and workers.

“We’re going to make some very big changes or we’re going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all,” he said during a separate speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this month. “It cannot continue like this, believe me.”

The trade agreement was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and implemented in 1994. NAFTA expanded trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, eliminating tariffs on most goods traded among the three countries.

In Wednesday’s readout, Trump said, “it is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation. It is an honor to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”

A summary from the office of Pena Nieto echoed the White House readout. “The leaders agreed on the benefit of maintaining the North American Free Trade Agreement and work together with Canada to carry out a successful renegotiation for the benefit of the three countries,” it said.

A readout released by Prime Minister Trudeau’s office several hours before was more sparse, saying that Trudeau and Trump “continued their dialogue on Canada-U.S. trade relations, with the Prime Minister reinforcing the importance of stability and job growth in our trade relations.”

ABC News’ Veronica Stracqualursi and Tom Kutsch contributed to this report.


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