President Donald Trump may be considering separate trade deals with NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico as relations with the pair of allies deteriorate and renegotiation discussions stall.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said during an interview on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning that the president was contemplating a “shift in NAFTA negotiations,” to bilateral discussions.
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“Countries that are different probably deserve different deals,” he said. “His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately."
Kudlow said NAFTA discussions have “dragged on” and the president wants to adopt the new approach in order to speed up the process.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Friday that the president remained “open” to bilateral discussions.
The comments come after Mexico issued retaliatory tariffs Tuesday morning, on U.S. steel and agricultural products. It will impose a 20% tariff on U.S. pork, apple and potato imports and 20% to 25% levies on cheeses and bourbon.
Last week, the U.S. imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Mexico and Canada. The White House said it lifted temporary exemptions granted to its NAFTA partners over the delayed negotiations.