Give Me "Fair" NAFTA Deal, I'll Drop Tariffs: Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump signaled on Monday that his hastily-announced tariffs on steel and aluminum may not be implemented, at least for Canada and Mexico, if what he calls a "fair" North American Free Trade Agreement is negotiated.
"Tariffs on steel and aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed," the president tweeted.
Canadian, U.S., and Mexican representatives meet Monday for the final round of NAFTA talks, which have been complicated by Trump's tariff announcement on Thursday. The president announced a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum, roiling financial markets and causing a backlash from Canada, the European Union and others, including many U.S. firms.
Trump surprised aides Thursday with the sudden tariff announcement made during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives and with no accompanying paperwork. Initially that morning, the White House delayed an announcement, and it appeared Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn had persuaded the president to scrap the tariffs, or at least wait until more analysis was done.
The apparent about-face on tariffs caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to soar about 200 points in midday trade on Monday.