We Can Use NAFTA to Pay for Border Wall

REUTERS

Ministers from Canada, Mexico and the United States will hold a special meeting to tackle some of the toughest issues in negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a top private-sector adviser to the Mexican government said Thursday.

Speaking about one of his signature campaign promises with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said a renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement - which includes Canada, Mexico, and the USA - could provide cost savings to the US that could be used to pay for the wall. Trump told the Journal that he was leaving the negotiations "a little bit flexible" for the time being, because of Mexico's upcoming presidential election. He didn't elaborate on what that means. "They can pay for it indirectly through Nafta", the newspaper quoted Trump as saying.

In the interim, Trump has requested requested approximately $18 billion for the wall.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is welcoming U.S. President Donald Trump's newfound patience on NAFTA renegotiations.

"Let this be clear: the issue of payment for a #border #wall is not, and will never be, part of the #NAFTA #negotiations #wearenotjoking", Mexico's chief Nafta negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos wrote in a Twitter post.


Since the earliest days of his presidential campaign, Trump insisted he would build a wall between the USA and Mexico as a way to stymie the flow of immigrants - and that Mexico would pay for the project.

Canadian officials said this week there's an increased likelihood Trump will follow through on his exit threat.

Such an announcement by Trump would trigger a six-month countdown to the U.S. exit from NAFTA.

The filing was made just as a sixth round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks are set to resume January 23 in Montreal. He most recently told reporters at Camp David Saturday, "I believe Mexico will pay for the wall".

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