President Donald Trump again threatened to pull the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the NAFTA 2.0 talks have just started, making that threat over the weekend and repeating it Monday.
“I believe you will probably have to at least start the termination process before a fair deal can be arrived at,” Trump told reporters during a joint press conference with the president of Finland at the White House. “Because it’s been a one-side deal for Canada and for Mexico. … It’s been unfair for too long.”
The U.S., Canada and Mexico are to start round two of the talks in Mexico City Friday and they are scheduled to run through September 5.
Trump repeated his claim that Mexico was being “very difficult” in the talks, saying that was expected since they had a “sweetheart deal” via the agreement.
One issue of contention that surfaced in the first round of talks held in Washington was on a U.S. stance that they want to see the domestic content for automobiles raised, a proposal that Mexico has rejected.
Trump also reiterated his view that Mexico would pay for the wall that Trump is seeking to build along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. “We need the wall. It’s imperative. We may fund it through the United States, but ultimately Mexico will pay for the wall,” Trump said. He also said he hoped it would not be necessary to threaten a government shutdown to get Democrats in Congress to go along with funding the wall, a threat he made last week.