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Trump says USA will Negotiate a 'Fair' NAFTA Deal

That led to a Pena Nieto phone call with President Donald Trump, a US promise not to leave NAFTA for now and a commitment by all three nations in the pact to work on renegotiating it.

Instead he vowed to renegotiate the agreement, but left the door open to pulling out at a later date.

Trump said he changed his mind after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called him.

The statement came hours after administration officials said Trump was considering a draft executive order to withdraw the USA from the deal - though administration officials cautioned it was just one of a number of options being discussed by the president and his staff.

Mexico's peso and Canada's dollar fell against the US dollar, with the peso shedding about 1.5 percent in just over an hour, while Canada's "loonie" lost about 0.45 percent.

As theories about what exactly informed Trump's decision to reverse his threat to pull out of NAFTA swirled the last two days, one story from the Washington Post offered a striking picture of the president's last-minute deliberation. And their palms are not likely sweating over the idea that if NAFTA talks derail, the status quo continues and Trump's big campaign promise to renegotiate crashes into oblivion.

Mr Trump's top advisers had been embroiled in a debate over how aggressively to proceed on reshaping USA participation in Nafta, with hard-liners favouring a threatened withdrawal as soon as this week and others advocating for a more measured approach to reopening negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

Cruz has expressed support for renegotiating NAFTA under Trump - he has said doing so is long overdue - but not abandoning it altogether.

The three North American countries form one of the world's biggest trading blocs, and disruptions among them could wreak havoc in the auto, agricultural and other industries. They also sell similar goods to the U.S.




"To totally abandon that agreement means that those gains are lost", said Paul Ferley, an economist at Royal Bank of Canada.

Yet in practice, some economists point out, Trump has been less stridently anti-trade than his campaign rhetoric suggested he would be. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that almost 14 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

Details about the draft executive order on NAFTA were not immediately available. He said that he planned to take that case to the Supreme Court. Six months notice is required by law to terminate NAFTA.

But some Mexican officials say they now believe Trump's strong stand on trade is akin to a player bluffing in a poker game.

The source noted that the administration wanted to tread carefully.

"Trump tweeted that he "agreed", but with a stipulation: "... if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA". "And we're ready to start talking", she added.

"I think the draft (executive order) was a negotiating ploy".

In Mexico, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warned Thursday that the end of NAFTA was "a real possibility".

Then again, the administration has just slapped tariffs on Canadian softwood timber imports and launched investigations into whether steel and aluminum imports jeopardize US national security.

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