“There’s no rush. We’ll get it done right or we’ll terminate it,” Trump said on Thursday, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Trump made the comments during an event in West Virginia where he also discussed tax reform and illegal immigration.
Earlier Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sounded more optimistic about a deal.
“We are in a moment where we are moving forward in a significant way, hopefully there will be some good news coming.” Trudeau told Agence France-Presse, adding that in his opinion “[w]e have a high chance of reaching a win-win-win deal for Canada, the United States and Mexico.”
Officials from the Mexican government told Reuters that they thought that there could be an announcement about the deal as early as April 13-14 at a regional summit in Peru.
Bloomberg had reported that Trump also thought a deal could happen by then, but in his speech in West Virginia, Trump seemed to dismiss that idea.
“We’re working very hard on NAFTA with Mexico and Canada. We’ll have something, I think, fairly soon,” he said. “There’s no rush. We’ll get it done right or we’ll terminate it.”
As part of the NAFTA negotiations, the United States has agreed to soften its demands relating to the auto industry, according to Bloomberg.
President Trump has repeatedly bashed NAFTA, even going so far as to call it “the worst trade deal in history.”
Trump pushed up the time frame for a NAFTA negotiation when he signed global tariffs on aluminum and steel on March 8. Canada and Mexico were given a 30-day exemption from the tariffs, until NAFTA could be renegotiated. While Trump says that he is in no rush to wrap things out, the deadline for such a deal has almost run out.
Trump said that if NAFTA is successfully renegotiated, “there won’t be any tariffs on Canada and there won’t be any tariffs on Mexico.” But he also said that “if we don’t make a deal on NAFTA” the tariffs would go into effect for those nations as well.
Trudeau warned that “any disruption to the integrated market would be significant and serious.”