Canadian officials 'increasingly sure' of US withdrawal from NAFTA

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Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs believes her country must seriously consider the prospect that President Donald J. Trump will withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to Reuters.

Chrystia Freeland told reporters on January 11 that Canada has been devising “new ideas” (Bloomberg) for overcoming potential hurdles before the penultimate round of talks to modernize NAFTA, scheduled for January 23-28 in Montreal. Mexico said it will walk out of the talks if Trump begins the withdrawal process (Reuters).

The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso both weakened against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after a report suggested Trump could pull out of the agreement (Financial Times). Reuters reports the Canadian government “is increasingly sure” about Trump’s plan to pull out of NAFTA.

The U.S. president has consistently criticized the agreement, calling it “the single worst trade deal ever” (BBC) while campaigning for president. A White House spokesperson said “there has been no change in the president’s position on NAFTA.” (Reuters)

The United States would have to give six months notice prior to pulling out of the agreement. A Trump withdrawal plan could face opposition in Congress (Reuters).

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