WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — President Donald Trump has agreed not to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump told Mexican and Canadian leaders that he would not terminate NAFTA, and all three countries agreed to renegotiate the deal.
NAFTA went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994 under President Bill Clinton.
CBS News reported earlier Wednesday that an executive order had been under consideration that would have withdrawn the U.S. from NAFTA.
The order would likely have reverted U.S. tariffs on Canadian goods to 1989 levels due to a free trade treaty the two countries signed that year.
Drafted by Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, with help from chief strategist Steve Bannon, the order would have been a win for advocates of economic nationalism in Mr. Trump’s White House.
As trade discussions with Canada have intensified in the week leading up to Mr. Trump’s first 100 days, the order had been anticipated as a hardline negotiation tactic with the aim of reaching a better agreement.
In February, Trump appeared alongside Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House and called their trade relationship “outstanding,” promising a “very fair deal” for both Mexico and Canada.
“We’ll be doing certain things that are going to benefit both our countries. It’s a much less severe situation than what’s taking place on the southern border,” Trump said during a news conference.
But last week in Wisconsin, Mr. Trump toughened his tone, threatening to get rid of NAFTA “once and for all” — followed by the administration’s move to slap a 20 percent tariff on Canada’s softwood lumber and a dispute over American dairy exports.