© Getty Images
President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE on Monday promised he would get a “better deal” from Canada and Mexico in talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“I am working very hard to get a better deal for our country, for our farmers and our manufacturers,” Trump said during a speech to the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn.
The president said “it’s not the easiest negotiation” because the U.S.’s North American neighbors are “making all of that money,” but pledged he will “make it fair to you people again.”
Trump tempered his fiery rhetoric on trade in front of the group of farmers and agribusiness leaders, who largely support free-trade agreements like NAFTA.
But his vague remarks will likely do little to reassure them about his past promise to “rip up” NAFTA and other pacts if they can’t be renegotiated.
Farmers and Republican lawmakers from agricultural states have lobbied the president in recent months to keep the deal.
Some have expressed frustration with the pace of talks with Canada and Mexico, but others have said the president has sounded receptive to their concerns.
Agricultural exports are the lifeblood of the economy in many heartland states Trump carried in the 2016 election.
The U.S. exported $20.5 billion in agricultural products to Canada in 2016 and $17.9 billion to Mexico, according to the Department of Agriculture.
If the U.S. withdraws from NAFTA, leaders are worried about the possibility that Mexico and Canada could slap tariffs on U.S. products and make them noncompetitive in the export market.
Tags Donald Trump