Mexico

Less than one week into the renegotiation of NAFTA and Donald Trump has already threatened to blow up the agreement.

Officials from the U.S., Mexico and Canada met Wednesday to begin renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In an opening statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer praised President Trump for the fact that these negotiations were even happening.

"American politicians have been promising to renegotiate NAFTA for years, but today, President Trump is going to fulfill those promises," he said.

Trump's NAFTA Makeover Not So Extreme

Aug 15, 2017

The Trump administration on Wednesday will start to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. And despite very tough talk about NAFTA during the campaign, it appears the administration has backed away from a major assault on the decades-old trade deal.

And that is a relief to businesses in all three countries.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump clearly tapped into frustration about workers who had lost jobs in manufacturing. And he painted NAFTA as one of the central villains responsible for stealing Americans jobs.

The Trump administration has set into motion the process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, following through on the president's earlier promise.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified congressional leaders in a letter Thursday that the president intends to launch negotiations with Canada and Mexico "as soon as practicable."

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

President Trump told reporters Thursday he had been planning to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement within days, but decided to try to renegotiate the agreement instead. The president held out the possibility of killing the trade deal later if the negotiations fail.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is considering alternative ways to pay for the border wall, backtracking on the president's oft-repeated promise that Mexico would foot the bill.

A White House spokesman said one idea taking shape is to apply a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, as well as other countries with which the U.S. has a trade deficit. That would effectively saddle U.S. consumers with a significant portion of the wall's cost, estimated at $15 billion or more.

From the start of his campaign, after he descended the golden escalator to give his announcement speech, Donald Trump promised to build a wall along the U.S.' Southern border. Now, Trump is taking the first steps toward keeping that promise, with an executive action that calls for building that wall.

In line with his campaign theme of tightening laws on immigration, that action will call for other measures, such as hiring more Border Patrol agents and expanding detention space.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed two executive orders related to immigration and border security, moving ahead with his plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and to deport people who are in the country illegally.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

Officials with the Buffalo office of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have deported a man to Mexico.

WBFO News photo of poster for event.

Violence flows at the Mexican border where many seek asylum in the United States. That issue will be highlighted Wednesday night as the 33rd Annual Father A. Joseph Bissonnette Lain America Event will be held at Daemen College in Amherst.