Trump Close To Notifying Canada, Mexico Of Intent To Withdraw From NAFTA
President Trump is seriously considering signing a document within days that would signal his intent to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement within six months, three people familiar with the matter said.
The process is still fluid and White House officials could change course, but if signed the letter would begin a formal process that could see the United States exit from the 23-year-old trade pact with Canada and Mexico.
Signing the document does not require Trump to withdraw from NAFTA after six months, but it is a required step if he plans to eventually do so. The White House is expected to soon take a separate step by signing a letter to Congress that would notify lawmakers of the administration’s intention to renegotiate NAFTA. By signing an intent to renegotiate and an intent to withdraw, the White House would give itself more flexibility to choose a different outcome in several months.
The move could also heighten tensions with Mexico and Canada, neighbors Trump has sparred with numerous times since taking office. Trump railed against Mexico repeatedly during his campaign, saying that its trade practices are ripping off U.S. workers and luring away U.S. jobs.
But in recent days he has taken a harder line with Canada, blasting a recent change in the dairy pricing policy there. And Monday, the Commerce Department said it would begin charging a tariff on the import of softwood lumber from Canada into the United States, alleging Canada was improperly subsidizing its domestic timber firms.