According to Press TV, Trump spoke from the Oval Office at the White House on Monday, announcing that the new deal could replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
He further threatened to take on Canada, another NAFTA signatory, with auto tariffs if it did not “negotiate fairly.”
“They used to call it NAFTA,” Trump said. “We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”
Jay Timmons, the President and Chief Executive of the US National Association of Manufacturers, also released a statement, stressing the need for a trilateral agreement.
“Because of the massive amount of movement of goods between the three countries and the integration of operations which make manufacturing in our country more competitive, it is imperative that a trilateral agreement be inked,” said Timmons.
Mexicans have also voiced willingness to have Canada back.
“It is our wish, Mr. President, that now Canada will also be able to be incorporated in all this,” said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, joining the White House announcement via phone.
Later in the day, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso indicated that his country would go forward without Canada.
“There are things that we don’t control, particularly the political relationship between Canada and the US, and we definitely don’t want to expose Mexico to the uncertainty of not having a deal,” Videgaray said as cited by The New York Times. “Not having a trade agreement with the U.S., that’s a substantial risk to the Mexican economy. Literally millions of jobs in Mexico depend on access to the US market.”
Trump has called NAFTA the “single worst trade deal ever approved” by the US and claimed that it has led to the outsourcing of thousands of jobs from the US to Mexico and China.