Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, stressed the importance of the markets and international trade to the American people, even as President Trump’s use of tariffs has reduced -- at least temporarily -- global trade.
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“The markets were very important to me, because I felt that having a fair and equitable relationship with as many countries around the world as we possibly could, and friendship with them and maximum trade with them was good for America and the long-term,” Carter said during an interview with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.
Carter said he still feels that way, 37 years after he departed from the White House after one term, and returned to his humble beginnings in the rural town of Plains, Georgia.
The 93-year-old acknowledged that while Trump’s approach differs from previous presidents, he believes that the U.S. will be able to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
“He has his own ideas,” Carter said. “And my hope is that he’ll be successful.”
On Monday, the U.S. and Mexico agreed on a pact to replace the decades-old trilateral deal, snubbing Canada in the process. Trump also suggested he might leave Canada out of the new agreement -- which would be called the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”
Although Carter said he spoke with Canadian officials on television earlier, all of whom were “very concerned” about the future relationship with the U.S. and Mexico, he remained optimistic that an agreement could be struck.
The Trump administration has considered forcing Canada’s hand by imposing another round of sanctions targeting its automobile industry, which exported more than $48.8 billion worth of vehicles in 2016.
“I don’t have any doubt that eventually we’ll work out another good deal between the United States and Mexico, which we might be doing now, and Canada in the future,” Carter added.