WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- President Donald Trump said the U.S. may reach a deal soon on a revamped NAFTA while playing down expectations the announcement will come next week at a regional summit in Peru.
“We’re working very hard on NAFTA with Mexico and Canada. We’ll have something, I think, fairly soon,” Trump said Thursday at an event in West Virginia. But in response to reports the U.S., Canada and Mexico may announce a deal in principle next week at the Summit of the Americas in Peru, the president said he’s told his staff to “take it nice and easy” rather than rushing the talks.
“There’s no rush. We’ll get it done right or we’ll terminate it,” said Trump, reiterating his threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier Thursday that NAFTA talks have picked up momentum.
“We are in a moment where we are moving forward in a significant way, hopefully there will be some good news coming,” Trudeau said in Quebec City. “Right now, we are having a very productive moment.”
The U.S. has softened a key demand on autos, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Senior Mexican and Canadian officials are in Washington this week for talks after the U.S. pushed for a provisional deal at the Summit of the Americas, scheduled for April 13-14.
Trudeau said his officials are willing to meet as frequently as the U.S. wants to work toward getting a deal, though his country’s ambassador to Washington said Wednesday there are “still lots of issues” to settle. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week he was hopeful they can soon reach a deal “in principle.”