We Can Use NAFTA to Pay for Border Wall

Freeland cabinet retreat

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE on Friday said a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could yield the money to pay for his long-promised wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Speaking about one of his signature campaign promises with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said a renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement - which includes Canada, Mexico, and the USA - could provide cost savings to the US that could be used to pay for the wall.

The president added that negotiations over NAFTA would continue after Mexico's presidential election in July 2018. He didn't elaborate on what that means.

An official from Mexico said this week that if Trump announces a USA withdrawal from NAFTA, "at that moment the negotiations stop".

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"They can pay for it indirectly through NAFTA", Trump told the Journal. "Guess what? Mexico's paying".

In the interim, Trump has requested requested approximately $18 billion for the wall. High ranking Mexico government officials Thursday remained adamant on this point.

Trump has been insistent throughout his presidency and campaign that Mexico will, in some form, pay for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

If Trump decides to leave NAFTA, he would trigger a six-month process to withdraw from the agreement.

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The filing was made just as a sixth round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks are set to resume January 23 in Montreal.

"Montreal is going to be a decisive round", said Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade negotiator who is now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington. "The worst case scenario with NAFTA falling apart is that Canada is much better off without it", Jerry Dias said.

While she puts the chances of US withdrawal at 50-50, "it's too early to throw in the towel on these negotiations", Cutler said.

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