In case you missed it, although we’re not sure how anyone could have missed this, the President of the United States of America told the world that he can’t get a good deal and will probably terminate NAFTA. Well, that just happened.
President Trump gave the statement at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. The timing is on point, given that the Canada, Mexico, and the United States just wrapped up the first leg of the tri-country trade negotiations. The next round of discussions is set to take place on September 1 in Mexico City. What’s reassuring is that both of the United States’ trading partners have a sense of humor (and a thick skin), as both the Mexican and Canadian representatives wrote this off as another off-script moment from the President.
We’re sure that they are looking at this statement as another one of The Donald’s foolish negotiating tactics to see if he can influence the meetings from afar, which is pretty much what Mexico’s Foreign Secretary told the press. The Canadian delegation also ignored the campaign-style rally comments, saying that they anticipated this kind of move from the President. While they admitted that they were not expecting Trump to weigh in on withdrawal so soon, the Canadian position is clear, and this won’t change their negotiating points. The Mexican Minister for the Economy also stated that they would be ready for a scenario where the US pulled out of the accord, saying that they have already drafted up a Plan B should the trade agreement come to an end. The Mexican currency, the peso, dropped over 1% right after the President’s comments, but rebounded quickly.
For their part, the U.S. negotiations team is staying on point and towing the President’s line. They’ve claimed that if negotiations are unsuccessful, the President will withdraw from the agreement. To that, we have to ask, wasn’t Donald Trump supposed to be good at making deals?