Ag Today August 28, 2018

Trump Hails U.S.-Mexico Trade Pact, Says ‘We’ll See’ With Canada

By Jacob M. Schlesinger and Josh Zumbrun in Washington and Robbie Whelan in Mexico City
Updated Aug. 28, 2018  – The Wall Street Journal

President Trump moved closer to revising the North American Free Trade Agreement by striking a deal with Mexico, but cast new doubts over the quarter-century-old pact by threatening to leave out Canada.

While the deal was created to foster harmonized rules across the continent, Mr. Trump said on Monday he was happy to sever Washington’s northern neighbor from that bloc if necessary. He proposed to rename the pact “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement,” while setting terms that will hinder Ottawa’s efforts to join it.

The Trump administration said it would give Canada until Friday to iron out crucial differences, including a revision that makes it harder for Nafta members to challenge U.S. trade penalties. While Mexico accepted that change, Canadian officials have said for months that would be unacceptable.

“We will see whether or not we decide to put up Canada or just do a separate deal with Canada—if they want to make the deal,” Mr. Trump said. He added that he might prefer to block Canadian imports rather than negotiate a new pact, saying: “I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in.”

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