"If the president wants to have a good economy for the United States of America, he needs to have a reasonable trade policy that will be good for Texas," Abbott told CNBC's Scott Cohn in an interview on "Squawk on the Street."
"What is good for the Texas economy is going to be essential for the American economy," he added.
Abbott sent a letter to the Trump administration in April, emphasizing the importance of NAFTA.
Abbott said Tuesday that he broke with Trump on NAFTA because the president's proposed actions would hurt his state, which relies heavily on exports.
"Texas is No. 1 in the nation for exports. Our leading export partner is Mexico and second is Canada. We need robust trade," said Abbott, adding the state is diversifying its economy and will be "less tethered" to oil and gas.
Abbott expects Texas will have "robust" growth this year but it may be "tempered" due to trade issues.
With solid economic growth last year — including a torrid 5.2 percent state GDP increase in the fourth quarter — Texas also finished first in CNBC's economy category.
That was up from No. 25 in the previous year's ranking, when oil was trading in the mid-$40s per barrel. The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude, cracked the $70 per barrel level late last month.