NAFTA 'a disaster' and I'll renegotiate, says Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate says he'd tax companies like Ford on their Mexican-made vehicles
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says the North American Free Trade Agreement is "a disaster" and he'll renegotiate it if he's elected president.
In an interview with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes to be aired on Sunday, Trump said he wants to bring in tariffs that would stop companies, such as Ford, from building cars in Canada or Mexico that are meant for the U.S. market.
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Trump said he will either break or renegotiate NAFTA as part of a plan to create middle-class American jobs.
"Let's say Ford moves to Mexico. If they want to sell that car in the United States they pay a tax. Here's what's going to happen, they're not going to build their plant there. They're going to build it in the U.S.," Trump is quoted as saying in a release from the CBS network.
Pelley, who also has rebuked Trump for failing to counter a bigoted comment about Muslims at a campaign event, reminds him there is a North American free trade agreement.
"And there shouldn't be. It's a disaster," Trump replied.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama made pledges to renegotiate NAFTA. Being against free trade plays well in the American heartland where Americans fear their jobs are being shipped to other countries.
Long history of free trade
NAFTA, established in 1994, created a North American free trade bloc that eliminated most tariffs on trade between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
It replaced the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, in place since 1987, which eliminated barriers to trade in goods and services between Canada and the U.S. Before that, the Canada-U.S. auto pact, in place since 1964, eliminated tariffs on automotive products in return for a share of auto assembly in Canada.
Trump went on to say that NAFTA is not "fair."
"We're being defrauded by all these countries," he said, taking in Canada as well as Mexico.
Pelley reminded Trump that NAFTA is a plank of the Republican party.
"We need fair trade. Not free trade. We need fair trade. It's got to be fair," Trump insisted.
Trump's anti-free trade rhetoric comes as the U.S. pushes ahead on another free trade initiative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Obama hopes to conclude this fall.
Trump also outlines his plans on immigration and his tax platform in the interview to be aired Sunday.