President Donald Trump implied that the end of negotiations over NAFTA are near and that the end result will be good for hourly workers at automakers across the U.S.
“There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!” Trump said in a tweet.
One of Trump’s campaign promises was to secure a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was more favorable to the U.S. The three countries – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – have been in talks for nearly a year now.
Early on, the three sides had difficulty talking about the auto industry’s place in the deal because Trump wanted to change the rules of origin to favor the U.S. Canada and Mexico balked at his initial proposals on the percentage of content.
(China cutting tariffs on imported vehicles. Click Here for the story.)
Exacerbating the problems was Trump’s consistent messages about Mexico paying for a border wall as well as his move to implement new tariffs on steel and aluminum. The tariffs would have made it difficult for Canada. Ultimately, he relented giving the two countries temporary relief form the tariffs.
“NAFTA is very difficult. Mexico has been very difficult to deal with. Canada has been very difficult to deal with. They have been taking advantage of the United States for a long time. I am not happy with their requests. But I will tell you in the end we win, we will win and we’ll win big,” he said.
He then called Mexico and Canada “spoiled” and said what they had asked for was “not fair,” according to Reuters. Trump added, “But I will tell you our auto workers are going to be extremely happy.”
(Click Here to see how NAFTA talks are encroaching on a Congressional deadline.)
During the campaign, Trump also promised to revive a shrinking manufacturing base in the U.S. Trump’s tweets today gave optimism that a deal was near on NAFTA. However, other reports suggest otherwise.
The United States and Mexico have deadlocked about U.S. demands for wage increases in the auto sector and for a boost in the North American content in cars. According to Reuters, a top U.S. trade official said the three countries were “nowhere close to a deal.”
Meanwhile there is some good news on the trade front as Washington and South Korea are working to finalize language in an updated U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement. Trump hinted at the possibility of “good news” on trade with South Korea during a meeting on Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Reuters noted.
(New U.S. content proposal for NAFTA gets tepid response. Click Here for the story.)
“We will have some pretty good news, I think, on trade,” he told reporters as the two leaders sat down.