U.S. President Donald Trump said Oct. 11 that he was open to bilateral trade pacts with either Canada or Mexico if a three-way deal cannot be reached to revise the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, Reuters reported.
"It's possible we won't be able to reach a deal with one or the other, but in the meantime we'll make a deal with one," Trump said during a White House meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in Washington to promote NAFTA's benefits amid the start of a new round of talks near Washington.
Trump added that a "very creative" deal was still possible to benefit all three countries.
Meanwhile, business leaders at a U.S.-Mexico CEO conference, which ran in parallel with the talks in the U.S., said no NAFTA deal would be better than a bad deal.
Guillermo Vogel, who co-chaired the Mexico City event, said the failure of NAFTA would be a "lose-lose" situation. He said U.S.-Mexico trade without it could lead to a U.S. trade deficit larger than the current $64 billion.
Trump has threatened to withdraw if he does not win concessions to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico.