- Trump tweeted Monday: ‘A big deal looking good with Mexico!’
- The president imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum which angered allies and raised pressure for a new deal
- The Dow Jones Industrial average immediately jumped 200 points on the news
- Trump campaigned on tossing the existing NAFTA agreement and trying to negotiate a new one
President Donald Trump said Monday that a trade agreement had been reached with Mexico in an Oval Office announcement.
He called it a ‘big day for trade’ and a ‘big day for our country’ in remarks.
Trump said the North American Free Trade Agreement was a ‘rip-off’ for the United States and the new pact, the United States Mexico Trade Agreement, will be ‘incredible’ for both countries.
The president said he was getting rid of the name NAFTA because it has a ‘bad connotation’ and the United States was hurt for many years by the trilateral deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Trump, in a horrifying moment, tried to get Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on the phone to congratulate him on the deal. But Pena Nieto wasn’t there. ‘Hello?’ the U.S. president said repeatedly on camera, before the outgoing leader, whose term ends at the beginning of December, joined the line.
Speaking in Spanish, Pena Nieto said he wants Canada to join the agreement and congratulated Trump on his political will to push the deal through.
Trump called him a ‘friend’ in response and said they ‘know each other quite well. The U.S. president said they ‘had a good meeting,’ despite claims of a rift between the two leaders, teased at the end of the call that a ‘hug from you would be very nice.’
President Trump said he would give Canada a chance to ‘probably have a separate deal’ although they could also join the pact he just inked with Mexico.
‘One way or another we’ll have a deal with Canada. It’ll either be a tariff on cars or it’ll be a negotiated deal,’ he said. ‘Frankly, I tariff on cars is a much easier way to go.’
A letter to Congress will be submitted to Congress on Friday. In 90 days, after a mandatory waiting period, Trump said he’d sign the new deal into law.
Trump said that he would be ‘terminating’ the existing, three-party deal once the new one is in place.
He also said he’d be speaking with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘in a little while’ to discuss next steps.