President Donald Trump announced this week that he will not immediately terminate U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House said, after he spoke with the leaders of Mexico and Canada about ways to re-negotiate the accord.
Trump on the campaign trail last year had vowed to pull out of NAFTA, which he repeatedly called the “worst trade deal ever,” if the U.S. didn’t get a better deal through immediate renegotiation. His decision Wednesday marks a continuing softening of his rhetoric on trade, after he recently said he would not declare China a currency manipulator, another campaign promise.
Last month, the Trump administration’s draft renegotiation notice for NAFTA was leaked, showing plans for only minimal changes to the existing trade deal, widely opposed by workers, environmentalists, and communities across the country. Some of the most controversial provisions, including a special investor’s court called called ISDS where corporations can directly sue governments for regulations passed in the public interest.