Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday that he advised President Trump not to withdraw from the trade deal with Canada and Mexico, but rather renegotiate.
“NAFTA needs to be modernized, like anything 25 years ago, but we think it would be bad policy if we withdrew,” Mr. Perdue said on Fox News referring to the North American Free Trade agreement.
The agreement was signed between the North American countries in the 1990s under former President George H.W. Bush to eliminate trade barriers. The president argues that it has harmed the U.S. economy by making it easier to move jobs to Mexico where labor costs are lower.
Mr. Perdue said the president, who campaigned on withdrawing from NAFTA, had an open mind on renegotiating the treaty rather than leaving it completely.
“This president is a bold, decisive, focused decision-maker, but he always leaves a little door open in the back for his mind to be changed. He listens, and I think the NAFTA discussion was a great example of that,” Mr. Perdue said.
The Agriculture secretary is set to introduce Mr. Trump on Monday at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee.