White House aides reportedly contacted the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office to convince Justin Trudeau of making an appeal to President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Trudeau called Trump just hours before their scheduled three-way call between them and Mexican President Peña Nieto, according to Toronto-based newspaper National Post citing Canadian government sources.
The diplomatic move proved decisive as Trump did abandon his earlier threat to pull out of NAFTA, citing the arguments made by Trudeau and Nieto, also made a similar appeal to Trump, as crucial to his decision.
The Daily Caller reports:
“President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” a readout provided by the White House of the call with the three leaders said.
The New York Post reported that White House top aide and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was the one who called Trudeau’s Ottawa office and begged him to convince his boss.
Media reports suggested there was debate within the White House about how to tackle NAFTA, with hardliners like White House chief strategist Steve Bannon encouraging Trump to tear up the agreement before his 100th day in office.
According to Canadian government sources, the advisers of the Trump administration wanted to take a more cautious approach, the reason for asking Trudeau’s help.