President Trump admitted the United States could one day negotiate a separate bilateral trade agreement with Mexico rather than modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement. Reuters reported on Wednesday the administration is looking into both bilateral and trilateral talks.
If the U.S. were to etch out a bilateral agreement with Mexico, negotiators would tackle Canada at a later date, per the president.
“We may do a deal separately with Mexico and we’ll negotiate with Canada at a later time. But we’re having very good discussions with Mexico,” President Trump said.
Mexico president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, previously said he’s in favor of continuing current NAFTA renegotiations. However, he also ran on a platform to expand Mexico’s domestic food and oil production, which would push the U.S. out of a major market for both products.
NAFTA negotiations have stalled to a crawl after U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators were unable to accommodate demands from the Trump administration. Lopez Obrador’s transition team will take part in future NAFTA talks, and discussions about a bilateral trade deal are scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on July 26.
The administration did not completely douse cold water on NAFTA, though. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president and his team are “continuing both conversations.”