Trump Delaying NAFTA Deal Until After Midterm Elections - NBC Bay Area
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Trump Delaying NAFTA Deal Until After Midterm Elections

Meanwhile, Canada imposed its own tariffs Sunday on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    What to Know

    • President Donald Trump said in a Sunday interview he would delay signing a new North American Free Trade Agreement until after the midterms

    • The comments come as the U.S. and Canada engage in a tit-for-tat trade dispute over Trump's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum

    • Canada on Sunday imposed its own tariffs on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods

    President Donald Trump intends to delay signing a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement until after the fall midterm elections, a move aimed at reaching a better deal with Canada and Mexico.

    Trump said in an interview that aired Sunday that he could quickly sign an agreement with the United States' neighbors, "but I'm not happy with it. I want to make it more fair." Asked about the timing of an agreement, Trump said: "I want to wait until after the election."

    The president's decision to push back the NAFTA talks comes as the U.S. and Canada have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade dispute over Trump's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Canada announced billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. on Friday, and the president signaled the trade rattling could continue.

    In the interview on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo," Trump again threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, saying, "The cars are the big ones." The move has been viewed as a possible negotiating ploy to restart NAFTA talks, which could resume following Sunday's elections in Mexico.

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    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)

    If the U.S. moved forward with tariffs on auto imports, it would be a blow to Canada's economy because of the critical nature that the auto industry plays in the country. The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to hold hearings on auto tariffs in late July and to complete its investigation into auto imports later this summer.

    Trump has sought to renegotiate NAFTA to encourage manufacturers to invest more in America and shift production from low-wage Mexico to the United States. The talks have stalled over several issues, including Trump's insistence on a clause that would end NAFTA every five years unless all three countries agree to sustain it.

    The president has suggested he may pursue separate trade pacts with Canada and Mexico instead of continuing with a three-country deal. But any reworked deal would need to be considered by Congress, and negotiators missed a self-imposed deadline to wrap up the talks by mid-May to allow it to be considered by lawmakers before the November elections.

    Trump has clashed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over trade, with the U.S. president tweeting last month after departing the G-7 meetings in Quebec that Trudeau was "weak" and "dishonest."

    Trump and Trudeau spoke by phone late Friday after Canada announced it would impose its own tariffs in retaliation for the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Trudeau's office said the prime minister "conveyed that Canada has had no choice but to announce reciprocal countermeasures" to the U.S. tariffs.

    Canada's tariffs went into effect Sunday, on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods. Some U.S. products, mostly steel and iron, face 25 percent tariffs, the same penalty the United States slapped on imported steel at the end of May. Other U.S. imports, from ketchup to pizza to dishwasher detergent, will face a 10 percent tariff at the Canadian border, the same as America's tax on imported aluminum.

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    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)