- Reuters/Henry Romero
- President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal that Mexico will “indirectly” pay for the border wall through renegotiated terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- Trump also said he would pull the US out of NAFTA if he didn’t get a “Trump deal.”
President Donald Trump, in an interview published Thursday, claimed that Mexico could pay for his proposed wall along their border with the US “indirectly” via changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In the interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said that the current negotiations over changes to NAFTA – the massive US-Mexico-Canada trade deal implemented in 1994 – would need to yield a good deal for him to agree to a new version.
The president also said renegotiated terms could count as Mexico paying for his proposed wall along the border. He did not say how that would work or offer evidence to support the assertion.
“They can pay for it indirectly through NAFTA,” Trump told the Journal. “We make a good deal on NAFTA, and, say, I’m going to take a small percentage of that money and it’s going toward the wall. Guess what? Mexico’s paying.”
When asked about whether he intended to keep the US in NAFTA more broadly, Trump told the Journal that the new agreement would need to be “a Trump deal” in order to get him on board.
Trump also said that he would be “a little bit flexible” with the deal since Mexico is going through a presidential election year.
“They have an election coming up fairly shortly,” Trump said. “I understand that makes it a little bit difficult for them.”
Canadian officials told Reuters on Wednesday that they believe Trump plans to pull the US out of the agreement by the end of the month. The report caused currencies for the three member countries to go wild.