Two Canadian officials said that they expect Trump to announce the move some time before the next round of NAFTA talks in late January.
Canada is increasingly convinced that US President Donald Trump will soon announce that the United States intends to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), two government sources said on Wednesday.
The sources said they expected Trump would make his move at about the same time that negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in late January for the sixth and penultimate round of talks to modernize the treaty.
Canadian officials say if Trump does announce a US withdrawal, it could be a negotiating tactic designed to win concessions. They also express doubt whether the US Congress would approve such a move.
Canada and Mexico have rejected most of the US proposals for NAFTA reforms, leaving officials with a big job if they are to bridge the large differences at the Jan. 23-28 talks in Montreal. Negotiations are due to wrap up at the end of March.
Trump could not immediately remove the US from the agreement, and it is unclear whether he can completely withdraw without approval from Congress.
Trump criticized the NAFTA agreement repeatedly during the presidential campaign, calling it the "worst trade deal in the history of the country."
The three countries in the deal kicked off negotiations to update the deal back in August. Trump's US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, said that deal needed to be updated in order to ensure it was keeping up with the rapidly changing digital economy. NAFTA was negotiated by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and was implemented in 1994.