President Donald Trump appears to have backed off his threat to completely withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and now wants to renegotiate with Canada and Mexico.
"I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now, the president of Mexico -- who I have a very good relationship with called me -- and also the prime minister of Canada who I have a very good relationship," Trump told reporters in the White House on April 27, reports CBS News. "I like both of these gentlemen very much -- they called me and they said rather than terminating NAFTA, could you please renegotiate."
Trump said his decision not to immediately terminate NAFTA in favor of a renegotiation is in line with his campaign promises.
"If you check my campaign, any of my speeches, I said I'll either renegotiate or I'll terminate, so they asked me to renegotiate and I will and I think we'll be successful in the negotiating which, frankly, would be good," he said, reports CNN.
After the phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump released an official statement about the conversation.
"It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation," Trump said. "It is an honor to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better."
As recently as the week before, Trump told supporters that NAFTA was on its way out.
"It's been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we're going to make some very big changes, or we are going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all," Trump said in Wisconsin, reported CNN.
Although many Trump voters favored scrapping NAFTA for more protectionist economic policies, many Republican politicians were against leaving behind free market treaties.
"Scrapping NAFTA would be a disastrously bad idea. It would hurt American families at the checkout, and it would cripple American producers in the field and the office," said Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, according to CNN. "Yes, there are places where our agreements could be modernized but here's the bottom line: Trade lowers prices for American consumers and it expands markets for American goods. Risking trade wars is reckless, not wise."
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona also urged Trump not to tear apart NAFTA.
"It will devastate the economy in my state," McCain said. "I hope he doesn't do that."