In a pair of tweets on Thursday, President Trump described his reasons for warning the leaders of Canada and Mexico that the United States was considering pulling out of the trilateral trade agreement with its North American partners, only to change tactic a few hours later and agree to negotiate a better deal.
This is nonsense, of course.
If we examine what then-candidate Trump said about NAFTA on the campaign trail., we will discover that his actions this week remain entirely consistent with past remarks he has made about renegotiating trade agreements that hurt the American worker.
“We will either renegotiate it or we will break it. Every agreement has an end. Every agreement has to be fair.”
“NAFTA has been a disaster for our country, O.K., and Clinton is the one as you know that got it done, but it was conceived even before Clinton, but you could say that maybe those people didn’t want done what was ultimately signed because it was changed a lot by the time it got finalized. But NAFTA has been a disaster for our country.”
“I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.”
“We’re going to put America first. We’re going to make trade deals that are good for us.”
“Disastrous trade deals, like NAFTA, that have caused so much pain, will be renegotiated – and we will BRING BACK auto-manufacturing.”
“I will renegotiate NAFTA. If I can’t make a great deal, we’re going to tear it up. We’re going to get this economy running again.”
And Trump’s opinion on NAFTA hasn’t changed much since the trade agreement originally came into force in 1994.
BuzzFeed uncovered a snippet of a local newspaper story from 1993 that confirms Donald Trump was “ardently” opposed to NAFTA way back then.
We may not always like how Trump approaches a deal, but no one can argue the effectiveness of it. Even trade experts see the genius behind Trump’s negotiating ploys.