Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who last week played a role in convincing President Trump not to withdraw from NAFTA, said the threat of doing so sent a “strong signal” to Canada and Mexico — as well as to Congress.
May 2nd, 2017 [Inside U.S. Trade]
In an interview with AgriPulse this week, Perdue recounted an Oval Office meeting Trump held with his newly confirmed agriculture secretary and “other counselors” to discuss whether to withdraw from NAFTA. White House advisers were debating a draft executive order to withdraw, but conversations with advisers as well as with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts convinced Trump not to do so “at this time,” the president said last week.
For Perdue, just the threat of withdrawal – which made headlines around the world and alarmed industries and lawmakers across three countries – had a positive effect.
Trump sent “a strong signal that we’re serious not only to Mexico and to Canada but also to Congress,” he said. “He was very concerned about congress slow-walking him on this and I think he got Congress’ attention as well.”