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"President Donald Trump, speaking alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, opened the door to separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and repeated his warnings that the U.S. could withdraw from the pact. “I think Justin understands this, if we can’t make a deal, it will be terminated and that will be fine,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday, underscoring the plan for now is to “renegotiate” the 23-year-old trade pact. Asked if he would consider separate deals with Canada and Mexico, Mr. Trump said that he would. He added: “It’s possible we won’t be able to reach a deal with one or the other. But in the meantime, we’ll make a deal with one.” Mr. Trudeau said after the event that he was convinced Mr. Trump will work “in good faith” to give Nafta a makeover that benefits all three countries...He also acknowledged the talks have posed difficulties. “Circumstances are often challenging, and we have to be ready for anything, and we are,” the Canadian leader said, not clarifying what “anything” might mean. “Canadians are aware the Trump administration makes decisions that surprise people from time to time,” he said...On Wednesday, Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that the talks get more difficult as the rounds progress. But “as long as you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it’s always possible” to find solutions, he told reporters. However, given the unusually short timeline for completing these trade negotiations, the sides can’t afford the luxury of setting off too many fireworks, he added...Mr. Trump repeatedly warned about withdrawing from Nafta during the campaign, calling the trade pact a “disaster,” but the threats have taken on new urgency now that the U.S. is proposing language to change the agreement in ways that Canada and Mexico say are unacceptable. American business and farm groups this month are asking their members to let lawmakers and the administration know that they want to keep the deal intact."

Posted October 12th, 2017