President Donald Trump says phone conversations Wednesday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau persuaded him not to imminently withdraw the United States from their countries' three-way trade pact.
"They asked me to renegotiate. I will," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "I decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big shock to the system, we will renegotiate."
Trump, sitting Thursday alongside Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, said, "I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two to three days from now." But, he added, "If I'm unable to make a fair deal ... for our workers and our companies, we will terminate NAFTA."
He reiterated his long-standing assertion that the 1994 trade agreement has been "very good for Canada. It has been very good for Mexico. But it has been horrible for the United States."
The U.S. president's softening tone on what is perceived as America's most crucial trade pact is being well-received.
"I am relieved," said Notre Dame University professor of finance Jeffrey Bergstrand, who notes trade agreements "not only lower tariffs, but create stability in the global value chain."
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