“You know I was really ready and psyched to terminate NAFTA,” Trump told Reuters on Thursday.
But Trump said he was persuaded to reconsider his decision and work with Canada and Mexico after speaking with the leaders of those countries.
“I’m not looking to hurt Canada and I’m not looking to hurt Mexico. They’re two countries I really like,” Trump told Reuters. “So they asked to renegotiate, and I said yes.”
The President also listened to some of his advisers, who warned that nixing the trade deal could hurt some Americans, the Washington Post reported. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Trump that terminating NAFTA could hurt some areas of the country that rely on the agriculture and manufacturing industries — areas that supported Trump, per the Washington Post.
“It shows that I do have a very big farmer base, which is good,” Trump told the Post, referring to a map Perdue showed to Trump. “They like Trump, but I like them, and I’m going to help them.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also pushed Trump to reconsidering withdrawing from the trade deal, while chief strategist Stephen Bannon and trade adviser Peter Navarro pushed for Trump to pull out of NAFTA, per the Washington Post.
Trump indicated to the Post that it was a tough decision for him.
“In one way, I like the termination. In the other way, I like them — a lot, both of them. We have a very good relationship. And it’s very hard when you have a relationship, it’s very much something that would not be a nice act. It would not be exactly a friendly act,” he said.