Trump says Mexico and Canada could back out of his signature NAFTA replacement deal

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisPresident Donald Trump shakes hands with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto, left, as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, looks on after participating in the USMCA signing ceremony, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • President Donald Trump on Monday cast further doubt on his signature rewrite of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • He claimed that Mexico and Canada could reject the deal before it is finalised.
  • The North American neighbours have made no public indication that they could pull out of USMCA.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Monday cast further doubt on his signature rewrite of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, claiming that Mexico and Canada could reject the deal before it is finalised.

“At some point pretty soon, you’re going to have Canada and Mexico say what’s going on, send the agreement back, let’s not make the deal,” he said at a press conference, though the two countries have not publicly threatened to do so. “And I wouldn’t blame them at all, and that’s ok.”

Trump has sought to cast blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the delayed ratification of the deal, which was announced last year. But Pelosi isn’t able to bring the trade deal to the floor for a vote yet because it’s not done.

“You’re going to have Mexico and Canada pull it pretty soon,” Trump continued. “And if they do, it’s her fault. Not mine. We gave you a great deal.”

The Trump administration and Congress have continued to negotiate the terms of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement after top Democrats pushed for stricter labour standards and enforcement mechanisms in the deal. Trump separately rolled back steep tariffs on metal from the two countries this year, which had previously been a major obstacle for ratification of USMCA.

In April, the International Trade Commission found that USMCA would have a positive but modest effect on the US economy.

The independent experts said the trade deal would increase gross domestic product by 0.35 percentage points or $US68.5 billion by the time the deal is fully implemented in six years. The auto industry would create roughly 30,000 jobs under the agreement, but overall American car production and consumption would fall because of higher prices.

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