The efforts to renegotiate NAFTA are “far from being completed at this point,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC Wednesday.
Ross told “Squawk Box” without being specific that some progress has been made on easier provisions, but “very little has been done on the hard issues.”
Without mentioning specific trade free arrangements such as NAFTA or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to talk about America turning the page “on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies.”
However, Trump has also repeatedly said he would pull out of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico if he thought it would lead to a better deal the United States. The trade pact was negotiated by Republican President George H.W. Bush and implemented by Democratic President Bill Clinton.
“It’s definitely a possibility” that the president would exit the agreement, said Ross, a key player in the Trump administration’s bid to overhaul NAFTA. A final renegotiated deal “will either be 100 percent or zero percent” acceptable, he added. “It won’t be some percentage in between.”
At the conclusion of the sixth round of talks in Montreal on Monday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned the process was still moving too slowly on U.S. priorities.
The next series of talks are to begin on Feb. 26 in Mexico City.
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