Trump readies order to end NAFTA trade treaty long opposed by unions

"President Mr Trump agreed not to terminate Nafta at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the Nafta deal to the benefit of all three countries", the White House said in a statement late Wednesday. The New York Times had quoted a senior administration official saying Trump was likely to sign such an executive order.

Mr Trump has blamed Nafta for hollowing out America's manufacturing sector by relocating jobs to lower-cost Mexico - which his administration initially said was the main target of changes he was seeking to the accord.

Trump has continuously criticized the agreement, with threats of withdrawal dating all the way back to the beginning of his presidential campaign.

The White House made the surprise announcement in a read-out of calls between Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"He can do the same thing with his NAFTA order that he can do with his wall", Vela said, alluding to a previous missive to Trump encouraging the future president to "take your border wall and shove it up your ass".

The White House confirmed that Peter Navarro, head of the National Trade Council, drafted the bill with Trump strategist Steve Bannon, Politico reported.

If Trump does pull the trigger, he has to give six months notice before the USA withdraws. So it is very important to our industry that any renegotiations of NAFTA not result in the imposition of tariffs or other restrictions on our exports to these two high-priority markets. But this week he fuelled trade tensions by imposing new duties on softwood lumber imports from Canada and vowing to defend United States dairy farmers against quotas imposed in Canada.

The latest dairy trade row was triggered when Canada extended those policies to apply to ultrafiltered milk, a product used in cheese production and at the center of a thriving U.S. export business. Cruz has expressed support for renegotiating NAFTA under Trump - he has said doing so is long overdue - but not abandoning it altogether.

U.S. trade with its Nafta partners has more than tripled since the agreement took effect, rising to US$1.1 trillion past year.

NAFTA has been a tremendous success for the USA pork industry since it was implemented, pork leaders say.

  • Leroy Wright