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Trump Backs Off Assault on NAFTA

Under pressure from auto industry, Trump no longer plans to kill trade agreement.

by on Apr.27, 2017

President Donald Trump is discovering that getting a new version of NAFTA negotiated will be more difficult than simply signing an executive order.

Despite tangling with both Canada and Mexico in recent weeks, President Donald Trump appears to again be shifting direction over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House late Wednesday indicating it will no longer seek to eliminate NAFTA but rather find ways to make it more favorable to the U.S.

That shift may not play well with Trump loyalists who have roundly opposed free trade agreements and, in particular, sought a wall and tariffs to seal off Mexico. But it is receiving a warmer welcome in the business world, especially the auto industry, where North American borders have become completely porous in recent decades, raising the specter of major problems for manufacturers who routinely move parts and vehicles back-and-forth between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

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“As the biggest export sector, U.S. auto companies need trade policies that open markets, while ensuring a level playing field in the markets to which we export. The integrated North American market is important to our global competitiveness,” American Automotive Policy Council said in a statement. (more…)