NAFTA negotiations could exempt Canada, Mexico from tariffs: Peter Navarro

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro told FOX Business’ Charles Payne that Canada and Mexico have an opportunity to remove themselves from President Donald Trump’s tariff plan by renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Our good friends north and south of the border, Canada and Mexico, are going to be given an opportunity to negotiate a fair trade deal for NAFTA, which would be a great bonus for what President Trump is doing, if they get that, they won’t be receiving the tariffs,” he Navarro said Wednesday.

As early as Thursday, the Trump administration will sign off on the proposed plan that imposes a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on aluminum imports.

Navarro says the tariffs are expected to go into effect within 15 to 30 days, and the proclamation includes a clause that immediately bars Canada and Mexico from the tariffs.

“It’s going to give us an opportunity -- and one of the best guys in this administration, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer -- the opportunity to negotiate a great deal for this country. If we get that, then all is good with Canada and Mexico,” he said.

Trump has vowed to revitalize the steel and aluminum industry which he says has been decimated by unfair U.S. trade policies.

“We've got an aluminum and steel industry that the president has said quite clearly and correctly -- we can't have a country without those two industries. Fact of the matter is, both of them are on life support, the aluminum industry in particular,” Navarro said on FOX Business’ “Making Money.”

The U.S. trade deficit has widened month-to-month, climbing 65% with Canada and almost 10% with Mexico. Navarro said the president is going after any bad deal that hurts U.S. businesses and its workers.

“Mexico and Canada know that the President is not messing around in this. If we get a good deal that's going to be great for all three countries, but we can’t keep doing what we’re doing, it’s draining this country dry,” Navarro said.