"If I'm unable to make a fair deal", the president said, "if I'm unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA". "They like Trump, but I like them, and I'm going to help them". "But to preserve that positive impact, it's essential that we hold countries accountable when they walk the other direction, too - as Canada has chosen to do on dairy".
Trump said in an interview with Reuters that he will not hesitate to change course again and pull the plug on the North American Free Trade Agreement if the negotiations become "unserious".
On Thursday, Trump struck a largely conciliatory tone, acknowledging that ending NAFTA would be a "shock to the system" and saying he has "very good" relationships with both Pena Nieto and Trudeau.
"Hey, I'm a nationalist and a globalist", Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, less than a day after he was persuaded by White House advisers and leaders from Canada and Mexico to rescind his threat to pull the US out of the 23-year-old trade deal. Six months notice is required by law to terminate NAFTA.
The document blames NAFTA for a "massive transfer of wealth" from the United States, the loss of 700,000 jobs and a more than $1-trillion trade deficit with Mexico since the agreement was enacted in 1993. "They called me up, they said, 'Could we try negotiating?' I said, 'Absolutely, yes.' If we can't come to a satisfactory conclusion, we'll terminate NAFTA". Investors were rethinking their assumptions that Trump would back away from some of the drastic actions on trade that he had promised during the presidential campaign.
"I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now", Trump told reporters at a brief media appearance with the Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Marci.
After the obviously failed negotiation, Trump made sure to comment on his remarkable ability by admitting that NAFTA is "very complicated", after talking to leaders for just ten minutes.
"That's not something that either one of us would want", Mr Trudeau added, "so we agreed that we could sit down and get to work on looking at ways to improve Nafta".
NAFTA has been a fixture in United States relations with its two neighbors since it went into effect January 1, 1994 under president Bill Clinton.
NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to create a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
While campaigning for president, Trump slammed NAFTA as a "disaster" and the "worst trade deal in history". -Canada bilateral meeting at the White House in February.
Ross targeted Canada for unfairly subsidizing its lumber industry, vowing to increase the price of imported lumber, CNBC reported.
The latest puzzler broke out Wednesday over the prospect that the Trump administration would simply abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement rather than start to renegotiate it.
Trump was warned that agriculture and manufacturing would be heavily hit if the USA withdrew.
Then again, the administration has just slapped tariffs on Canadian softwood timber imports and launched investigations into whether steel and aluminum imports jeopardize USA national security.
Trump may have tried to start a NAFTA renegotiation from a position of strength, added the senator.