Trump Speaks to Mexico's President Upon Announcement of U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement

August 27, 2018

President Donald Trump spoke over the phone on Monday with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto after the two reached an agreement to change parts of North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly called NAFTA.

While details of the new agreement have not been released yet, both presidents expressed optimism about the deal and trade relationship during the conference call in the Oval Office.

Trump and Nieto said the new deal would be beneficial for both countries.

"I think this is something very positive for the United States and Mexico," Peña Nieto said during the call.

Trump commented on the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and the "good meeting" he and Peña Nieto had, and said the deal would particularly benefit manufacturers and farmers.

"Mr. President, thank you very much; it's an honor. You've been my friend," Trump said. "It's been a long time since I traveled to Mexico where we got to know each other quite well and we actually had a good meeting. Some people weren't sure if it was a good meeting, but I was. I have a lot of good meetings that a lot of people aren't sure if they were good or not."

"This is something that's very special for our manufacturers and for our farmers from both countries, for all of the people that work for jobs, it's also great trade and it makes it a much more fair bill. And we are very, very excited about it," Trump said.

"We've made it simpler, much better," Trump added, "much better for both countries."

Trump also said the new deal would not be named after the current arrangement, NAFTA, saying it drew a negative connotation in the United States. The president has been a vocal critic of trade agreement, which went into effect in 1994 under President Bill Clinton. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump hammered NAFTA as the "worst trade deal in history."

The announcement of the deal left open the question of whether Canada, the third country in NAFTA, would agree to the changes. Trump said a deal with Canada could be made as part of the new deal he and Nieto reached, or it could be separate.

"Canada will start negotiations shortly. I'll be calling the prime minister very soon and we'll start negotiation," Trump said. "And if they'd like to negotiate fairly, we'll do that."