“The White House will never admit this publicly, but the president is developing a softer attitude towards the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Five sources who’ve spoken privately with Trump about NAFTA say he’s taking more seriously the risks of withdrawing the U.S. from the trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
A conga-line of Republican senators have met with the president and explained to him why they consider NAFTA so important to their states. Two arguments have helped change Trump’s thinking:
Withdrawing from NAFTA might interrupt the stock market’s record-breaking run under his presidency. When it comes to bragging rights, Trump views the Dow Jones Industrial average as a useful substitute for his poll numbers. Though he told the WSJ that he thought U.S. markets would go up if he terminated NAFTA, sources who’ve spoken with the president say that privately he’s less certain of that — and is loathe to jeopardize the stock market’s record-breaking streak.
Withdrawing from NAFTA would harm farmers and agricultural communities — whom Trump considers “my people.” …”
The argument is raging over imposing tariffs on China too.
In the end, I don’t expect much of real significance to come of this. The common thread of the Trump administration has been “winning” for big business and conservatism. Withdrawing from NAFTA and imposing tariffs on China seems like a throwback to the campaign.