Trump to terminate NAFTA, pressuring Congress to approve new trade deal

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President Trump said late Saturday that he plans to formally terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in an effort to pressure Congress to approve a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

“I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One while returning from the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

{mosads}“Then Congress will have a choice of approving the USMCA, which is a phenomenal deal,” he said, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “Much, much better than NAFTA. A great deal.”

The president also called NAFTA a “disaster” for the U.S. — a description he has used since the presidential campaign.

“It’s caused us tremendous amounts of unemployment and loss and company loss and everything else. That’ll be terminated,” he said.

“And so Congress will have a choice of the USMCA or pre-NAFTA, which worked very well. You got out, you negotiate your deals. It worked very well. OK?” 

Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Friday signed a revised North American trade agreement that rewrites many of the rules governing free trade and caps off a bitter trade dispute between the three nations.

The required congressional approval for the new pact is far from certain, however.

Democrats, who took control of the House in the midterm elections, have traditionally been skeptical of free trade and may be reluctant to hand Trump a political victory heading into the 2020 elections.

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