Mexico, Canada react to US President’s threat to terminate NAFTA

World Today

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, shakes hands with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, accompanied by Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, after they spoke at a news conference, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, at the start of NAFTA renegotiations in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

They’ve only just begun, and now U.S. President Donald Trump is already threatening to terminate the re-negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

In a speech in Phoenix, Arizona Tuesday, Trump said, “Personally, I don’t think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of, they have made such great deals both of the countries, but in particular, Mexico.”  He later added, “I personally don’t think we can make a deal without a termination, but we’re going to see what happens, okay? You’re in good hands, I can tell you.”

The first round of NAFTA negotiations wrapped up last week, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer making a harsh American position clear in opening remarks:

“I want to be clear that he is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters. We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement.”

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray reacted Wednesday on Mexican television network, Televisa.

According to Reuters, he called Trump’s comments: a negotiating tactic, not a surprise, adding, “He’s negotiating in his own particular style..”

Mexico is set to host the next round of NAFTA talks next month.

In response to a request for a statement from CGTN, Canadian Foreign Minister spokesperson, Adam Austen, wrote via email: 

“As we said last week, trade negotiations often have moments of heated rhetoric. Our priorities remain the same, and we will continue to work hard to modernize NAFTA, supporting millions of middle class jobs.”