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Trump: We'll 'probably' end up terminating NAFTA

  • President Trump said during a rally that he doubts the U.S. can reach a deal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement
  • "Personally, I don't think we can make a deal ... I think we'll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point," the president said

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he doubts the United States can reach a deal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal ... I think we'll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point," he said at a rally in Arizona of the efforts to tweak the three-nation deal with Mexico and Canada.

"I personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination but we're going to see what happens, OK? You're in good hands, I can tell you," he added.

Trump's comments appeared to hit the Mexican peso.

The three nations started formal negotiations to tweak the trade agreement this month. The U.S. came into the talks seeking a major overhaul in the deal that removed most barriers to trade between the countries. It went into effect in 1994.

As a candidate, Trump railed against NAFTA and other free trade deals, saying they sapped manufacturing jobs from American workers as companies sought to pay lower wages abroad.

Mexican and Canadian officials have cast NAFTA as a success that needs only moderate revisions to keep up with changing economies.

The countries are two of the three largest trading partners with the United States.

Earlier this year, Trump said he decided not to terminate NAFTA and instead renegotiate it after calls with both countries' leaders.

At the start of the renegotiation talks, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration believes "NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement."