He'd first try to forge a more advantageous deal with Mexico and Canada - a move that formally began Thursday when his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, announced the administration's intent to renegotiate NAFTA.
A prominent critic of USA trade agreement calls the administration's plans "markedly vague".
Regarding NAFTA's effect on Canada, Investopedia notes, "Canada experienced a more modest increase in trade with the US than Mexico did as a result of NAFTA, at an inflation-adjusted 63.5 per cent (Canada-Mexico trade remains negligible)".
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was "steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region", noting that 9 million USA jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada. Lighthizer focused on an effort to improve and update the deal, and he did not directly criticize the trade policies of either Mexico or Canada.
Dan Ujczo, an worldwide trade and customs lawyer with cross-border business law firm Dickinson Wright LLP, said sending the letter out so quickly demonstrates a "need for speed" on getting the trade talks underway ahead of the US midterm elections in 2018 and the Mexican presidential elections in 2018. He has also threatened to quit NAFTA so as to ramp up pressure on Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the trade agreement. In addition to guaranteeing fairer treatment of our industry in Mexico and Canada, the agreement led to economic growth in all three countries. So were many trade barriers in the auto industry.
The future of NAFTA has been uncertain since Trump announced in November past year that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), another trade deal that covers 12 nations.
Lighthizer declined to say whether withdrawal from NAFTA is still on the table, but said he hopes withdrawal is not necessary.
A sizable majority of rural Americans backed Donald Trump's presidential bid, drawn to his calls to slash environmental rules, strengthen law enforcement and replace the federal health care law.
"I agreed. subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA".
In a news release, USTR said, "Through these negotiations, the United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the US economy by improving USA opportunities to trade with Canada and Mexico".
At a news conference Thursday at the State Department with Mexican officials and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other us officials, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Mexico "welcomes" the renegotiation of NAFTA. More recently, he has talked about subjecting it to a "massive" renegotiation. The two-page letter offers few details about what changes the administration would seek. An earlier draft of the letter, which was leaked to the public in late March, outlined the administration's plans in only slightly more specific terms.
It's for legitimate reasons that we in farm country are nervous about Trump's renegotiations talk.