Canadian and Mexican officials have stated they will continue to stay focused on the negotiations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that he still sees potential to exit the pact.
“We’re going to stay focused on what we’ve always known and what we’ve always said,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference. NAFTA benefits both Canadians and Americans, and Canada is “focused on the hard work we have ahead of us at the negotiating table,” he said.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said in a tweet that there were “no surprises” in Trump’s renewed threat to scrap NAFTA. “We are already in a negotiation. Mexico will remain at the table with serenity and firmness and national interest ahead.” Mexico could have the most to lose if the pact unravels, as the country has been Trump’s prime target. If Trump really wanted to break up NAFTA he would have done so already, Videgaray said.
Trump said at a Phoenix rally August 22 that he “personally” did not believe “we can make a deal,” on NAFTA. “So I think we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point,” Trump said. Trump’s remarks came just days after negotiators from the three countries met in Washington August 16-20 for the inaugural round of talks to revamp the deal. The next round will begin September 1 in Mexico.