President Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t believe the United States will be able to reach an agreement to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“I don’t think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of,” Trump said at a rally in Arizona. “They have made such great deals—both of the countries but in particular Mexico—that I don’t think we can make a deal. So I think we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point.”
During his presidential campaign, Trump focused his attention on NAFTA, calling it the “worst trade deal in history,” and vowed to rework or terminate any trade deal that negatively impacted American workers and the country’s economy. However, in April, the president decided against terminating the agreement with two of America’s largest trading partners.
Earlier this month, the administration initiated the renegotiation process of the trilateral accord which came into effect in 1994 under President Bill Clinton. Though Mexico and Canada have said they don’t believe the deal needs major changes, the Trump administration sees otherwise.
"We believe that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many Americans and needs major improvements. We need to assure that the huge trade deficits do not continue,” U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer said at the start of the talks in the nation’s capital, adding that the trade agreement has benefited American farmers, though it has had a negative impact on others in the country.