President Donald Trump urged Congress to speed up the process of either renegotiating or replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers at the White House.
“I don’t care if its a renovation of NAFTA, or a brand new NAFTA, but we do have to make it fair,” the president said, adding that “it’s very unfair to the American worker, and very, very unfair to companies that do business in the United States.”
“I would like to speed it up if possible,” the president said, referring to the renegotiation or replacement of NAFTA. “You’re the folks that can do it,” Trump said, acknowledging the senators seated at the table inside the Roosevelt room of the White House.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) February 2, 2017
The president reiterated his longstanding commitment to renegotiate or replace the Clinton-era trade deal that dogged former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her unsuccessful presidential campaign.
NAFTA, along with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were deeply unpopular in the rust belt states, where Trump was successfully able to connect Clinton to her husband’s trademark legislation.
“NAFTA’s been a catastrophe for out country. Its been a catastrophe for our workers and our jobs and our companies,” Trump said alongside his pick for Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. “They’re leaving our country.”
[dcquiz] The president has already pulled out of the TPP, an agreement that former President Barack Obama was negotiating as part of his pivot to Southeast Asia. The president has met with manufacturers and labor union alike, where he doubled down on hi criticism of NAFTA. (RELATED: Trump Outreach To Labor Unions Rattle Big Labor Bosses)
“Maybe we do a new NAFTA, and we put an extra F in the term NAFTA. You know what the F is for, right?” Trump asked the gaggle of reporters and lawmakers.
“Free and fair trade,” he said, answering his own question. “Not just free trade. free and fair trade. because its very unfair,” the president repeated.
Under federal law, Congress has 90 days to review trade deals before the are signed.
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