President Donald Trump is tweeting more and more frequently about a supposed upcoming trade deal with Mexico, with all signs pointing to an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that could put the United States on better footing.
“Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour. Some really good people within both the new and old government, and all working closely together….A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!”
“Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour. Some really good people within both the new and old government, and all working closely together….A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.
The two sides are apparently close to a deal regarding bilateral differences on NAFTA, and talks resumed Monday morning, according to Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.
“We’ve continued making progress,” Guajardo said in a Sunday interview with Reuters.
The current administration has been seeking to revise NAFTA since Trump took office. Ties with Mexico have been strained over the president’s promise that Mexico will pay for his border wall, one of Trump’s biggest and most bold promises on the campaign trail.
However, the relations have reportedly been heading in the right direction following the rise of new Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The U.S.-Mexico discussions have centered on new rules for the auto industry, and have gone on largely without Canada, which is expected to rejoin talks once a bilateral deal is hammered out. The sides are pushing for a deal before bringing Canada back into the fold by the end of August.
Once again on Monday morning, Trump tweeted that a deal with Mexico will be completed soon.
“A big deal looking good with Mexico!” Trump tweeted around 9:30 a.m. EDT on Monday.
Trump has apparently softened on his demand for a “sunset clause” on any new NAFTA deal, which makes a new deal more likely. The new U.S. position allows for a periodic review of NAFTA that doesn’t include an automatic expiration date unless renegotiated upon every five years.
Canada and Mexico have been adamantly opposed to a sunset clause, claiming it would harm business investments and job growth due to the uncertainty of NAFTA’s long-term existence.
The likelihood of a deal coming to fruition pushed U.S. stocks higher early Monday. Automakers climbed as investors felt the threat of tariffs on imported cars was on the decline.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018
Trump says he intends to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement and call its replacement “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — a name that would exclude the third NAFTA partner, Canada.
Trump made the comments after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which Trump has called a job-killing “disaster.” Details of the U.S.-Mexico agreement were expected to be unveiled later Monday.
The president says he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump says, “If they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that.” He also threatened to tax Canadian auto imports to increase the pressure on Canada’s government.
Trump says: “We could have a separate deal (with Canada) or we could put it into this deal.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.