Trump and Mexican President Announce New Trade Deal to Replace NAFTA


President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on Monday that they had reached an “understanding” to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In an Oval Office announcement, which included Peña Nieto on speaker phone, Trump told reporters that the U.S. and Mexico are putting the finishing touches on will be “one of the largest trade deals ever made.”

“It’s a big day for trade. It’s a big day for our country,” the president said. “I’ll be terminating the existing deal and going into this deal.”

“They use to call it NAFTA,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico trade agreement. We’ll get rid of the name NAFTA. Has a bad connotation, because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA for many years.”

Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner behind China and Canada. Through June of this year, U.S. exports to Mexico totaled $131.3 billion and imports were $169.3 billion or a deficit of $38 billion.

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Peña Nieto characterized the agreement as something that will be “very positive” for both countries, and that NAFTA needed to be renewed and “modernized.”

“I recognize your political will and your participation in this,” the Mexican president told Trump.

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Peña Nieto also urged Canada to join in negotiations and to become part of the final deal.

The outgoing Mexican leader tweeted on Monday that he had spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by phone stating the importance of re-engaging in the negotiations, so a final deal between the three nations can be concluded this week.

The following screenshot of Peña Nieto’s tweet was translated using Google Translate.

(Screenshot/Enrique Peña Nieto/Twitter)
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Trump and Peña Nieto have had a strained relationship at times, particularly over the issues of border security and trade, but the American president tweeted over the weekend that the two nations are now “working closely together.”

“Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour. Some really good people within both the new and old government, and all working closely together….A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!” Trump wrote.

Trump, who has frequently expressed his desire for bi-lateral trade deals, was non-committal whether Canada will join the current one with Mexico.

“We’ll see if Canada can be part,” he told reporters, and added that separate negotiations would start “pretty much immediately,” CBS News reported.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to arrive in Washington later Monday or Tuesday morning, according to The Washington Post.

“Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners,” said Adam Austen, spokesperson for Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs.

“Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed NAFTA agreement. We are in regular contact with our negotiating partners, and we will continue to work toward a modernized NAFTA. We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class. Canada’s signature is required.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith