President Trump Hints Hold Off On Tariffs For Better NAFTA Deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Trump is defending his planned tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
"Our country, on trade, has been ripped off by virtuallt every country in the world. Whether it's friend or enemy," Trump said in the Oval Office Monday. "Our jobs have left our country. NAFTA has been a disaster for many years."
Trump refused to back down on the tariffs despite criticism from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other House Republicans, who are warning the President about unintended consequences.
Trump said he doesn't think the tariffs will provoke a trade war.
In the meantime, Trump noted that the U.S. is trying to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico, in whcih he hinted at laying off on the proposed tariffs.
"We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A.," said the President. "Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed," Trump tweeted Monday morning."
He insisted that it must be made more fair and threatened to end NAFTA if he doesn't get a better deal.
To protect our Country we must protect American Steel! #AMERICA FIRST
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
All three countries have been mired in trade talks since last August that were sparked by Trump's insistence that NAFTA has been a raw deal for American manufacturing workers.
Canada and Mexico argue that NAFTA has benefited each country.
(CNN contirbuted to this story)
(PHOTO: Pool/Getty Images)