Trump Says He'll Exempt Mexico, Canada From Tariffs If 'New & Fair NAFTA Agreement is Signed'

By Susan Jones | March 5, 2018 | 7:46am EST
Flanked by leaders of the steel and aluminum industries at the White House on March 2, President Trump announced he intends to impose new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. (Photo: Screen grab/C-SPAN)

( - President Trump said on Monday morning that his tariffs on steel and aluminum imports may not apply to Mexico and Canada if those countries agree to a "new & fair NAFTA agreement."

In two tweets, Trump wrote:

"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. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must treat our farmers much better. Highly restrictive. Mexico must do much more on stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S. They have not done what needs to be done. Millions of people addicted and dying."

But on Sunday, President Trump's White House trade adviser Peter Navarro indicated that Trump would not exempt U.S. allies from the tariffs.

"Will the president exempt allies like Canada and Europe?" "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Navarro.

Navarro said the "uniform consensus" is that the tariffs should be "across-the-board."

"You have to understand, Chris: as soon as he starts exempting countries, he has to raise the tariff on everybody else. As soon as he exempts one country, his phone starts ringing from heads of state of other countries," Navarro said.

"Global imposition?" Wallace asked.

"Yes," Navarro said. "Yes. As it should be, because let's think about what the mission is here, OK? The mission is to defend our steel and aluminum industries so that they survive it and as the president said clearly and correctly, we can't have a country without steel and aluminum industry."


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